Breaking News
More () »

'Been a long time coming' | Damon Stoudamire gets emotional at Georgia Tech introduction

Stoudamire coached with three other schools and two NBA teams since 2008 before getting his chance as a high major Division 1 head coach.

ATLANTA — Damon Stoudamire delivered an emotional introduction at Georgia Tech on Tuesday, tearing up and placing the Yellow Jackets' history of success at the forefront of his ambitions as the new men's basketball coach.

"It's been a long time coming," said Stoudamire, who since leaving the NBA in 2008 has been at three different schools and two NBA teams before arriving as a high major Division 1 head coach.

He pointed to his two sons in the crowd, Brandon and Damon, collecting himself.

RELATED: Georgia Tech hires Damon Stoudamire as coach

Stoudamire expressed his longtime love for Atlanta, noting that he still remembered the first player he ever recruited as a college coach came from Southwest DeKalb High School.

"You know, this has been a long journey for me," he said, later recounting a list of Georgia Tech legends to emphasize his admiration for the program.

"When I thought of Georgia Tech basketball growing up as a kid, you know, I remember Coach (Bobby) Cremins, I remember Mark Price, I remember Bruce Dalrymple, I remember Duane Ferrell, I remember Tommy Hammonds, I've seen the evolution of it. I've seen it go to Dennis Scott, Kenny Anderson, Brian Oliver, Malcolm Mackey, and so, this is for me, it's a really tradition rich program," Stoudamire said. "One that I aspire to get back to winning championships, galvanize the community, the student body and just get this thing going in the right direction."

He laid out how he expects to instill a culture of self-accountability as he tries to restore Georgia Tech's sheen as a program.

The Yellow Jackets won the 2021 ACC Tournament championship under Josh Pastner - their first in nearly 30 years. Prior to that stretch they had been a national power in the 80s and 90s.

The 2021 title proved a blip, however, with Pastner going 27-38 combined the last two seasons before his departure last week.

"You got to expect nothing but perfection, and if that doesn't happen - it damn sure better be close," Stoudamire said. "To get the culture, to get the foundation, you have to be disciplined, you have to have a non-negotiable contract with yourself."

Recalling the recruit from Southwest DeKalb High, the 49-year-old former NBA star, who won the 1996 Rookie of the Year award, said things had "come full circle."

"To be able to be in a great city, have a great fan base, I couldn't ask for more," he said. "And so I look forward to getting this program to where everyone wants to see it at."


Before You Leave, Check This Out