Paul Johnson: Tech ‘way behind’ ACC in facilities, staff

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has a wish list for his program. He needs donors to make it happen.

“A locker room would be great,” he said.

After the fifth day of the team’s preseason practice, Johnson said that the Yellow Jackets are “way behind” in the ACC competition of facilities and staff.

“If you look at the other schools, we’re probably behind in most every aspect, from facilities to staff to salaries to whatever,” he said.

A locker-room renovation is on the radar for athletic director Mike Bobinski – plans have been drawn up – but the project has not advanced past a planning stage.

“I guess they’re waiting for somebody to fund it,” Johnson said.

Without added donor support, the budget doesn't have much room for more costs. Tech, which typically aims to break even annually, is projecting a $2.4 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year for a variety of reasons, including costs relating to the dismissal of former coach Brian Gregory and the hire of coach Josh Pastner, expected lower ticket sales for football and basketball and an $850,000 waterproofing project at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Saturday at the team’s media day, Bobinski addressed the matter of other schools in the ACC, notably Clemson, increasing non-coaching staff. Bobinski said that “I think that could be our hope as things evolve here and we have a couple of opportunities that we believe will come our way in the years to come to improve financial conditions.”

Bobinski also said that Johnson has not made a “strong indication to us that he would like more (staff).”

The impetus to renovate or build locker rooms, weight rooms, indoor practice facilities and the like is to win the attention of recruits. Clemson will open a $55 million football operations facility next year, complete with a 60-person cold tub, a bowling alley, barber shop and Wiffle-ball field.

“When kids walk in, that’s their impression,” Johnson said. “They see facilities, it’s like, you guys know it’s an arms race. And if you’re not building, you’re falling farther and farther and farther behind.”