ATLANTA — Bobby Cremins is rallying Georgia Tech’s old-timers for the program’s new coach.
Cremins, who retired in March as the College of Charleston’s coach, was back at Georgia Tech on Wednesday. Cremins said he is recruiting former players, assistant coaches and student managers to return as a show of support for second-year coach Brian Gregory when Georgia Tech opens its new arena Nov. 9 against Tulane.
Cremins, 65, was the Yellow Jackets’ coach from 1981-2000. His name was placed on Georgia Tech’s court at its old Alexander Memorial Coliseum in 2003. The court at the new McCamish Pavilion also will bear his name.
Cremins says his first priority is still at the College of Charleston as a part-time assistant to the school’s president, George Benson.
He said his agreement to again represent Georgia Tech in a volunteer role emerged from a conversation with Gregory.
“Brian and I were talking and I said now that I’m a part-time employee and I’m not coaching, I would love to give something back to the school that I coached 19 years at and I love,” Cremins said. “This was my baby. This was my life.”
Cremins’ first job as a head coach came at Appalachian State. He said Georgia Tech “put me on the map with so many great players from Mark Price to John Salley.”
Cremins took Georgia Tech to the Final Four in 1990 during a string of nine consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
“Georgia Tech will always be a special place in my life until the day I die,” Cremins said. “Now I find the opportunity to support a new coach in a new building. And it’s beautiful. I went on the court recently and I had chills.”
The program has declined in recent seasons. Georgia Tech played in the national championship game in 2004, the only year in Paul Hewitt’s 11 seasons as coach the team had a winning record in Atlantic Coast Conference games.
Gregory was 11-20 and 4-12 in the ACC in his first season at Georgia Tech.