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The healing needs to begin at Georgia Tech

It's been a tough week for Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich.

Monday morning, Radakovich's first order of business was to fire his less-than-popular head football coach.

Chan Gailey was sent packing after six mediocre years down on The Flats. (Let's not feel too sorry for the man who walks away with $4-million in his bank account.)

Gailey's firing was in the works weeks ago and became official less than 48 hours after the Yellow Jackets lost to rival Georgia again.

In some respects it's hard to understand how any program could show Gailey the door. By the Webster's Dictionary definition, the former Tech coach was successful, going 44-32.

Gailey's Yellow Jackets also won the Coastal Division of the ACC in 2006. He led the Yellow Jackets to six-straight bowl games. Last year, his Yellow Jackets played for the ACC title and went to the Gator Bowl.

Gailey was a nice guy, and he proved it Monday just hours after officially losing his job when he kept an appointment to address a group of Tech football fans.

But all that means nothing in today's big business of college football.

Yes, it's important for coaches to win games, but they also need to be embraced by those who support the school with their time, money and season ticket purchases. For the most part, the former Tech coach had lost the support of most fans, and Radakovich understood this when he decided a move was necessary for the good of the progam.

Gailey didn't do enough to keep his job on the field either. He never beat rival Georgia, and quarterbacks Reggie Ball and Taylor Bennett never got better under his watch.

There didn't seem to be any fire, any passion with Gailey as head coach.

More than anything else, Gailey deeply divided the Georgia Tech fan base, and ultimately, that's what cost the veteran football coach his job.

Seven-win seasons and bids to the Humanitarian and Emerald Bowl are no longer good enough to keep the Yellow Jacket Nation happy.

Still, Tech loyalists must be careful not to demand too much of their next football coach.

The Yellow Jackets aren't going to be a top-5 program every year.

However, it's not too much to ask that they win eight or nine games, contend for the ACC title, finish in the Top 25 and beat Georgia ever so often.

Radakovich must hire a new coach who will bring Yellow Jacket fans together.

Tech fans need a reason to fill Bobby Dodd Stadium Saturdays in the fall.

A ticket to a Georgia Tech game should be a hot commodity, but lately there have been empty seats or plenty of fans from the other teams taking up space inside Bobby Dodd Stadium

Tech fans are having a good time shouting out names of perspective candidates, but whether the new Yellow Jacket head coach is Jon Tenuta, Paul Johnson, Will Muschamp, Chris Hatcher, Jimbo Fisher or some other name that comes out of left field, supporters of this storied program need to jump on the bandwagon so the healing process can begin.

Doug Gorman is sports editor of the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at dgorman@news-daily.com.