Toyota Gator Bowl vs. West Virginia
ACC Football Championship - Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest
Georgia Tech vs. Duke - November 18, 2006 (photos courtesy of Associated Press)
Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina - November 11, 2006 (photos courtesy of Associated Press)
Chan Gailey led Georgia Tech to nine victories in 2006, capped by the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division title and a berth in the 2007 Toyota Gator Bowl on New Year's Day.
Gailey coached the Yellow Jackets to bowl games in each of his first five seasons on the Flats, the only head coach in Georgia Tech's storied history to do so. With Tech's trip to the 2007 Toyota Gator Bowl, Gailey's Yellow Jackets achieved a feat unprecedented in school history with their 10th consecutive bowl berth. Prior to its current streak, Tech's longest bowl string was six in a row from 1951-56 under legendary head coach Bobby Dodd.
Georgia Tech is one of just six schools in the nation to earn a bowl bid each of the last 10 years, an elite group that also includes Florida State, Virginia Tech, Florida, Georgia and Michigan.
In 2006, the Jackets recorded their 10th consecutive winning season-all with seven or more wins-the school's longest string since Tech had 18 straight winning seasons from 1908-25 under John Heisman and William Alexander. The Rambling Wreck also posted a conference record of .500 or better for the 12th consecutive year, a feat unmatched by any ACC school and achieved by only three other schools in the nation.
Tech's nine victories in 2006, which came against a slate that included nine bowl teams, are its most since 2000, and the Jackets' seven ACC wins equal the best mark in school history. One of the highights of the 2006 season was a 38-27 victory at 10th-ranked Virginia Tech. That win gives the Jackets seven wins against ranked teams in Gailey's five seasons, with six of the victories coming on the road, including wins at Auburn and at Miami in 2005. Georgia Tech has defeated at least one nationally-ranked team each of the last 12 years.
The Tech offense boasted one of the nation's most talented players in junior wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the Biletnikoff Award winner, a first-team all-America for the second time and the ACC Player of the Year.
Punter Durant Brooks was also a finalist for a national award, the Ray Guy Award, and earned second-team all-America honors, as did linebacker Philip Wheeler.
Johnson headlined a contingent of 10 Yellow Jackets who earned all-ACC recognition, including first-team honorees Brooks, Joe Anoai and Jamal Lewis, and second-team selections Tashard Choice, Adamm Oliver and Philip Wheeler. In Johnson and Choice, Tech featured the ACC's leading receiver and top rusher.
The 2006 slate gives Tech 28 first or second-team all-ACC selections over Gailey's five years. The Tech head coach also mentored 21 Academic All-ACC student-athletes in his first four seasons.
A total of 39 Yellow Jackets that Gailey coached over his first five years have either been drafted by NFL teams or signed free agent contracts, including five seniors from the 2006 squad who earned NFL opportunities and nine in 2005.
Under Gailey and his defensive coordinator, Jon Tenuta, the Yellow Jackets have played strong defense, ranking in the top 30 nationally in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, scoring defense and total defense each of the last three years. In 2006, the Jackets were ninth in pass efficiency defense and 20th against the run.
Gailey's 2005 Tech team went 7-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC despite playing one of the nation's most challenging schedules. Tech spent nine weeks in the national rankings, climbing as high as 15th after a 3-0 start. The Jackets faced four teams that won nine or more games, and a total of eight bowl teams.
Highlighting the 2005 campaign were a pair of thrilling victories over national powers Auburn and Miami, both on the road. Tech opened the season with a 23-16 victory at Auburn, ranked 15th at the time, and followed with a 14-10 win over the third-ranked Hurricanes. Both victories ended long winning streaks; Auburn had won 15 in a row while Miami had eight straight wins.
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson became the first Tech player to earn first-team all-America honors since 2000 and the first Yellow Jacket receiver to earn all-America recognition of any kind since 1963. He was also a unanimous first-team all-ACC selection and one of five Yellow Jackets named to the all-conference team. Running back P.J. Daniels, defensive end Eric Henderson, linebacker Gerris Wilkinson, and safety Dawan Landry were all named to the second team.
The Tech defense ranked in the Top 25 in the nation in virtually every category, including 13th versus the run. The Jackets led the ACC in interceptions with 21 and turnover margin.
Gailey's 2004 Yellow Jackets posted a record of 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the ACC, putting an exclamation on the season by dominating Syracuse, 51-14, in the Champs Sports Bowl, Tech's second straight 50-point bowl game.
Also highlighting the 2004 season were a pair of wins over nationally-ranked teams, both on the road. The Jackets scored three touchdowns in the final five minutes to knock off 18th-ranked Clemson in one of the most improbable comebacks in school history before winning at 23rd-ranked Maryland, 20-7, with one of the most dominating defensive performances in Rambling Wreck annals.
Gailey's 2004 Yellow Jackets boasted another strong defensive unit that ranked 12th in the nation in yards allowed at 297.9, the best figure by a Tech defense since 1991. The Jackets also ranked 13th in the nation in rushing defense, 21st in scoring defense and 21st in pass defense.
Two players that Gailey recruited have been named Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year, including 2004 honoree Calvin Johnson, who also earned first-team all-ACC honors and freshman all-America accolades. Johnson followed quarterback Reggie Ball, who captured the ACC Rookie award in 2003. Johnson and Ball are the first Yellow Jacket Rookie of the Year winners since 1991.
Johnson was one of five Yellow Jackets named to the 2004 all-ACC team, along with free safety James Butler, who earned first-team all-ACC honors for the second straight year, as well as second-team selections Eric Henderson, Gerris Wilkinson and Travis Bell, another freshman all-America honoree.
Featuring a balanced offense and an aggressive defense, Gailey's 2003 Yellow Jackets defied preseason predictions that suggested Georgia Tech would finish eighth in the ACC. Instead, the Jackets managed a 7-6 record, including a 4-4 mark in the ACC, despite a grueling schedule. The season was highlighted by victories over bowl-bound teams Auburn, Maryland and NC State as well as the 52-10 thrashing of Tulsa in the Humanitarian Bowl.
Starting true freshman Reggie Ball at quarterback, the Tech offense featured a 1,000-yard rusher in P.J. Daniels and a 1,000-yard receiver in Jonathan Smith for the first time in school history. The Jackets' defense boasted the ACC leaders in tackles in linebacker Keyaron Fox and sacks in defensive end Eric Henderson as well as free safety James Butler, who ranked second in the league in interceptions.
In 2002 in his first season at the helm of the Tech program, Gailey steered the Rambling Wreck through adversity, including season-ending injuries to the team's top offensive and defensive players, to a sixth consecutive bowl berth in the 2002 Silicon Valley Classic. His first Yellow Jacket campaign was highlighted by an improbable victory at eighth-ranked NC State.
Overall, in his six seasons on the Flats, Gailey posted a record of 44-32 (.579).
Gailey, 55, brought to Tech a history of success at every stop in his coaching career, including three seasons as a college head coach at Troy State University and Samford University in Alabama, as well as two years as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and two at the helm of the Birmingham Fire of the World League of American Football. He won a national championship at Troy, and he made a name for himself as an innovative offensive mind during NFL stops in Pittsburgh, Dallas and Miami.
In nine seasons as a college head coach, Gailey has compiled a record of 68-43 (.613), including 19-5 in two years at Troy State and 5-6 at Samford.
Gailey came to Tech after two seasons (2000-01) as offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins under head coach Dave Wannstedt.
"How many times does a guy like myself get a chance to come to an institute like this?" said Gailey on the day he was introduced. "It's something that you can believe in, and when you talk to somebody you know what you're selling and you know what you're talking about. Every day I get to go to work with people that exude character and class. That's an enjoyable situation.
"I want to win a championship. That's why you play. That's why you line up and that's why you go out and work and lift weights in the off season, to have a chance to be the best of the best and that's one of the goals. I get a chance to come back to my home state and I get an opportunity to work in a great city and to be involved with an unbelievable institute."
Gailey joined the Dolphins after spending the previous two years (1998-99) as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Under Gailey, the Cowboys compiled a composite regular season record of 18-14 in his two seasons, qualified for the playoffs both years, and captured the NFC Eastern Division title in 1998. In addition, the Cowboys finished in the top five in the NFL in both fewest turnovers and fewest interceptions in each of Gailey's two seasons as head coach, including a number one ranking in both categories in 1998.
In Gailey's first season with the Dolphins, he helped guide a running game which amassed 1,894 yards, the most by a Dolphin team since 1984. Lamar Smith finished tenth in the AFC with 1,139 yards rushing, the second-highest single-season total by a Dolphin, marking just the seventh time (fifth player) that a Miami player reached the 1,000-yard plateau.
In seven of the eight seasons that Gailey was either a coordinator or head coach in the NFL, he had a player attain the 1,000-yard rushing mark each time, including Jerome Bettis of the Steelers and Emmitt Smith of the Cowboys.
Before joining the Cowboys in 1998, Gailey spent the previous four seasons (1994-97) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including each of the last two as offensive coordinator. His first two years there were spent tutoring the club's wide receivers. In his four seasons with the Steelers, the team won the AFC Central Division crown each time, appeared in the AFC Championship Game on three occasions and reached the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh finished second in the NFL in rushing offense in 1996, averaging 143.7 yards per game. In Gailey's final season with the Steelers, he presided over the league's top-ranked rushing team, averaging 154.9 yards per contest.
The NFL team with which Gailey coached reached postseason play each of his last eight years in the league, and 11 of his 14 seasons overall.
Gailey got his start in the NFL coaching ranks as an assistant with the Denver Broncos in 1985. He served as a defensive assistant and special teams coach in his first season there before moving to the offensive side in 1986. He served two years (1986-87) as the Broncos' special teams and tight ends coach prior to taking over the task as quarterbacks coach in 1988. Promoted to offensive coordinator/receivers coach in 1989, he served two years in that position.
During Gailey's six-year stay in Denver, the team finished first or second in the AFC West on five occasions and made three Super Bowl appearances. Following his tenure in Denver, Gailey was named head coach with the Birmingham Fire of the World League in 1991, and in his two seasons there, the Fire qualified for the playoffs both times. A stop as head coach at Samford University in 1993 preceded his stint with the Steelers.
Gailey began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Florida in 1974, his alma mater where he spent the next two years. From there, he moved on to his first full-time position, as secondary coach at Troy (Ala.) State, where he served from 1976-78. That was followed by a four-year stint (1979-82) at the Air Force Academy, the final two as defensive coordinator under Ken Hatfield. He returned to Troy State in 1983 and spent the next two seasons there as head coach. He led the team to a 12-1 record and the Division II national championship in 1984.
Born January 5, 1952 in Gainesville, Ga., Gailey was an all-state quarterback at Americus High School, and went on to letter three years (1971-73) as a quarterback at Florida. He graduated from Florida in 1974 with a degree in physical education. Gailey and his wife, Laurie, have two sons, Tate and Andrew, and one grandson.
Full name: Thomas Chandler Gailey, Jr.
Born: January 5, 1952 in Gainesville, Ga.
Family: wife Laurie; sons Tate and Andrew; one grandchild
Education: Bachelor's degree in physical education, Florida, 1974; graduated from Americus (Ga.) High School, 1970
College playing experience: Florida, quarterback from 1971-73 (no pro playing experience)
College coaching experience (17 seasons):
Florida - graduate assistant, 1974-75
Troy State - defensive backs coach, 1976-78
Air Force - defensive assistant, 1979-80, defensive coordinator, 1981-82
Troy State - head coach, 1983-84
Samford - head coach, 1993
Georgia Tech - head coach, 2002-2007
Professional coaching experience (16 seasons):
Denver Broncos - defensive assistant and special teams coach, 1985; special teams and tight ends, 1986-87; quarterbacks coach, 1988; offensive coordinator/receivers coach, 1989-90
Birmingham Fire (WLAF) - head coach, 1991-92
Pittsburgh Steelers - wide receivers coach, 1994-95; offensive coordinator, 1996-97
Dallas Cowboys - head coach, 1998-99
Miami Dolphins - offensive coordinator, 2000-01
Year Record Team 1983 7-4 Troy State 1984 12-1 Troy State NCAA Division II National Champions 1993 5-6 Samford 2002 7-6 Georgia Tech Silicon Valley Classic 2003 7-6 Georgia Tech Humanitarian Bowl (W) 2004 7-5 Georgia Tech Champs Sports Bowl (W) 2005 7-5 Georgia Tech Emerald Bowl 2006 9-5 Georgia Tech ACC Coastal Champs, Toyota Gator Bowl 2007 7-5 Georgia Tech Bowl Game TBA
Total, Georgia Tech (6 years) 44-32 (.579) Total, College Head Coach (9 years) 68-43 (.613)
Year Record Team 1991 5-5 Birmingham Fire (WLAF) Playoffs 1992 7-2-1 Birmingham Fire (WLAF) Playoffs 1998 10-6 Dallas Cowboys NFL Playoffs/Division Champion 1999 8-8 Dallas Cowboys NFL Playoffs/Wild Card
Total, NFL Head Coach (2 years) 18-14 (.563)