The big men up front played a large role in Georgia Tech football winning five of its last six regular-season games
A numerical look at the Georgia Tech's historic first meeting with Georgia Southern
Tech is hoping to turn its numbers up front into depth
Shaquille Mason is carving his niche on Tech's veteran O-line.
Senior played center a few snaps in Saturday's scrimmage
Mike Sewak, who has coached on the college level for 31 years, including four years as head coach at Georgia Southern, enters his ninth year at Georgia Tech as coach of the offensive line.
In 2015, the offensive line paved the way for Tech to be the ACC's top rushing team for the eighth consecutive season. Three members of the unit -- center Freddie Burden, guard Trey Braun and tackle Bryan Chamberlain -- earned honorable mention all-ACC honors.
In 2014, Tech's offensive line ranked second nationally in fewest sacks allowed (0.79 sacks per game) and was led by first-team All-American guard Shaquille Mason. The offensive line helped the Yellow Jackets lead the nation in rushing offense (4,789 yards) and rushing yards per game (342.1) -- both single-season school records.
Mason was drafted in the fourth round by the New England Patriots in 2015. He was the first Yellow Jacket offensive lineman drafted since 2009.
During Sewak's eight seasons, the offensive line has assisted in remarkable numbers put up by the Yellow Jackets. In each of the last eight years, Georgia Tech has ranked in the top eight nationally in rushing offense. The Jackets have rushed for more than 31,000 yards in the last eight years - more than any other college football team.
Tech led the ACC in total offense in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2014. In 2009, the Jackets ranked second nationally in rushing offense. In 2010, Tech ranked first nationally in rushing for the first time in school history. In 2011, the Yellow Jackets ranked second in the nation.
At least one Yellow Jacket offensive lineman earned first-team All-ACC honors in Sewak's first six seasons. While earning first-team All-America honors, Mason was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2014. In all, Sewak has coached seven Yellow Jackets who were named first-team All-ACC: Andrew Gardner in 2008, Sean Bedford and Cord Howard in 2009, Bedford in 2010, Omoregie Uzzi in 2011 and 2012, and Mason in 2013. Uzzi earned All-American honors in 2012 and 2013. Bedford, who came to Georgia Tech as a walk-on defensive lineman, blossomed under Sewak into a two-time, first-team All-ACC performer.
Sewak, Johnson's offensive coordinator at Georgia Southern from 1997-2001, replaced Johnson as head coach of the Eagles in 2002. He produced a record of 35-14 as Georgia Southern's head coach and led the Eagles to three appearances in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs and two Southern Conference championships. He was named the 2004 Southern Conference Coach of the Year.
In his first season as head coach in 2002, Sewak led Georgia Southern to the I-AA semifinals and within a last-second missed field goal of the national championship game. The Eagles finished the season with an 11-3 record, won the school's sixth consecutive league title and made their fifth straight national semifinals appearance. In addition, Sewak's offense led the nation in rushing, averaging 386.2 yards per game.
Georgia Southern followed with an uncharacteristic 7-4 mark in 2003, a season which saw Sewak valiantly sidestep adversity and numerous key injuries to guide GSU to victories in six of its last eight games and earn his second straight rushing title as a head coach with a 335.6 yards per game average.
Sewak put GSU back on track in 2004. Georgia Southern rolled through the regular season with an offensive juggernaut, averaging 47 points per game and winning eight games in a row between losses to I-A Georgia and Southern Conference co-champion Furman, the No. 2 ranked team in I-AA.
While young on both sides of the ball in 2005, Georgia Southern led I-AA in rushing again. After a 1-2 start, the Eagles won seven of their last eight games to clinch an at-large playoff bid. The only loss during that stretch was to Appalachian State, the Southern Conference champion and the No. 2 seed in the I-AA playoffs. Sewak also led the Eagles to a win over Furman when the Paladins were ranked No. 1 in the country.
As offensive coordinator under Johnson at Georgia Southern from 1997-2001, Sewak's offensive unit consistently ranked as one of the nation's best at the NCAA Division I-AA level during the five-year span. After finishing second in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense in 1998, the Eagles improved to a first-place national standing in all three categories in 1999 -- averaging 419.0 rushing yards, 551.7 total yards and 50.0 points per game.
In all, as Georgia Southern's offensive coordinator from 1997 to 2001, the Eagles rolled to a 62-10 mark and scored 2,855 points (39.7 ppg), while accumulating 25,941 rushing yards (360.3 ypg), 7,816 passing yards (108.6 ypg) and 33,757 total yards (468.8 ypg). Sewak also played a key role in helping lead Georgia Southern to five straight Southern Conference championships and NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances, three national championship game appearances and two national titles (1999 and 2000).
In addition, three Georgia Southern offensive linemen earned All-America honors under his direct guidance between 1997-2001. Guard Mark Williams, who also was the recipient of back-to-back Southern Conference Jacobs Blocking Trophies in 1997 and 1998, tackle Rich McGrath and center Matt Winslette.
During his time at Georgia Southern, Sewak took an active role in the community, serving as a member of the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) in the Bulloch County (Ga.) School District. He kept ties with the Special Olympics program, serving as a volunteer in various capacities. He also instilled a community relations leadership role for his players, who spent many lunch and reading sessions with children at Statesboro's Mill Creek Elementary School and donated their time to the March of Dimes Walk America and "Operation Cleanup." Sewak was appointed as the honorary chairperson of the Keep Bulloch Beautiful campaign in February 2002, and was selected to a similar capacity for the 2003 Bulloch County's Walk America in January.
Prior to his second stint at Georgia Southern, Sewak helped turn around a struggling program at Ohio University as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach under head coach Jim Grobe in 1995 and 1996. The Bobcats, after going 0-11 prior to Sewak's arrival, went 2-8-1 in 1995 and 6-6 record in 1996, the program's best mark since 1982. Sewak directed an offensive unit which ranked first in the Mid-American Conference in rushing with a 274.0 per game average.
Prior to Ohio, Sewak spent eight years as an assistant coach at Hawai'i, where he coached the Warriors' offensive line for seven seasons and the wide receivers for one. During his tenure in Honolulu, Hawai`i won the 1992 Western Athletic Conference championship, broke more than 150 offensive records, and finished among the nation's offensive leaders each year, averaging 31.7 points and 418 yards per game.
Sewak's first stint at Georgia Southern came as an assistant coach with the Eagles in 1985 and 1986 when he worked under head coach Erk Russell. Sewak coached the running backs and the defensive backs as the Eagles captured their first two NCAA Division I-AA national championships and posted 13-2 records each season.
Sewak's first association with Georgia Tech came in 1984 when he served as a graduate assistant tight ends coach under head coach Bill Curry.
A native of Johnstown, Pa., Sewak began his career in 1982 at Hobart (N.Y.) College where he served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
A three-year letterman as an offensive lineman at Virginia, Sewak earned a degree in psychology from UVa in 1981. He was invited to tryouts with the Baltimore Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers after the completion of his collegiate playing eligibility. Sewak added a master's degree in the spring of 2008 from Georgia Southern.
Sewak and his wife, the former Robin Farmery of Marietta, Ga., are the parents of three children -- Michael-Robert, Olivia and Nicholas. Michael-Robert is a 2013 Georgia Tech graduate in business administration; Olivia graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and currently works in New York City. Nicholas plays football at Georgia Southern.
|THE MIKE SEWAK FILE|
|Family||wife Robin; children Michael Robert, Olivia, Nicholas|
|Alma Mater||Virginia, 1981 (bachelor's)|
|Georgia Southern, 2008 (master's)|
|1982-83||Hobart||Offensive Coordinator / Offensive Line Coach|
|1984||Georgia Tech||Graduate Assistant|
|1985-86||Georgia Southern||Assistant Coach|
|1995-96||Ohio||Offensive Coordinator / Offensive Line Coach|
|1997-2001||Georgia Southern||Offensive Coordinator|
|2002-05||Georgia Southern||Head Coach|
|2008-11||Georgia Tech||Co-Offensive Line Coach|
|2012-present||Georgia Tech||Offensive Line Coach|