Georgia Tech fires coach Gailey


Georgia Tech fired coach Chan Gailey today, two days after a sixth straight loss to rival Georgia ended a disappointing season.

Athletic director Dan Radakovich called an afternoon news conference to discuss the football program. A person familiar with the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made, told The Associated Press that Gailey would be dismissed after six seasons as the Yellow Jackets coach.

The move was widely expected after Georgia Tech (7-5) came up far short of another run at the Atlantic Coast Conference championship one year after winning its division. Also, Gailey never beat the school's biggest rival, losing 31-17 to the Bulldogs on Saturday.

Throughout the season, Radakovich steadfastly declined to give Gailey a vote of confidence, merely saying he would evaluate the program after the season.

It wasn't immediately clear who would coach Georgia Tech in its expected trip to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco.

After Saturday's loss, Gailey, a former NFL head coach with the Dallas Cowboys, brushed off questions about his future.

"I'm not in charge of that," he said. "My job is to do the best job I can do."

Under Gailey, the Yellow Jackets never lost fewer than five games in a year. His downfall can likely be traced to the end of last season, when Georgia Tech dropped its final three games &

all by a field goal &

after winning the Coastal Division. That stretch included losses to Georgia in the regular-season finale, Wake Forest in the ACC championship game and West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.

Gailey has four years left on his contract at $1 million annually. There was some speculation that Georgia Tech's financially strapped athletic program would be reluctant to buy out the coach, but Radakovich clearly decided that it would be more damaging to offend the big-money boosters by keeping Gailey.

The fans grew more and more impatient with Gailey, which was evident in the closing minutes of a 27-3 loss to Virginia Tech. When the coach was shown on the video board delivering a public service announcement, the crowd at Bobby Dodd Stadium booed loudly.

Gailey had a record of 44-32 at Georgia Tech.

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