On the vibrant fields of Bobby Dodd Stadium, Gavin Stewart (MSA ‘24), a kicker for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets merges athletic dynamism with academic rigor.  

Stewart graduated from Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration while making a name for himself on the Football Team. 

Transitioning from his Bachelor’s degree to a Master's in Analytics at the H.Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Stewart experienced the thrilling challenge of embracing a more technical curriculum.  

His educational path is characterized by a rich fusion of strategic business understanding and newly acquired technical skills in coding and data analytics, providing him with a distinct viewpoint on how business operations and technological progress intersect. 

Balancing Academics and Athletics 

In his journey towards achieving academic and athletic excellence at Tech, Stewart highlights the influential role Dr. Joel Sokol played in steering him towards the Master's in Analytics program at Georgia Tech.  

He highly values Dr. Sokol's comprehensive briefing on the curriculum, which equipped him for the academic challenges ahead and shed light on its potential career advantages.  

Moreover, Stewart appreciates the invaluable guidance from his kicking coach, Ryan Longwell, a seasoned NFL player, whose mentorship significantly impacted his development both as an athlete and as an individual.  

Stewart, balancing his roles as both a student and athlete, has pinpointed effective time management as a key challenge.  

"You have to figure out how to manage your time to get everything done. You have to learn the material outside of the classroom and do more work than just coming to lectures.”   

He stressed the importance of balancing demanding schedules between the two, along with personal time. 

Reflecting on his journey, Stewart emphasizes the invaluable lessons in teamwork and leadership gained from team sports.  

These experiences have not only honed his communication skills but also prepared him for professional environments where teamwork and leadership are key. 

Kicking Off Excellence 

Stewart has emerged as a key player for the Yellow Jackets in his role as the kickoff specialist. His remarkable precision and formidable strength were evident on the field, with a remarkable 60% of his kickoffs resulting in touchbacks in the 2021 season.[1]  

In 2022, Stewart took over as Georgia Tech’s primary place-kicker in a high-stakes game against Pittsburg. In challenging conditions, he showcased remarkable poise and accuracy, nailing 4-of-4 field goal attempts, including a career-long 40-yarder, contributing significantly to Tech’s upset over the 24th-ranked Pittsburg Panthers. [2] 

This game not only highlighted Stewart’s athletic prowess but also symbolized his resilience and adaptability - traits equally applicable in his rigorous ISyE studies. His record-breaking .923 field goal percentage not only topped Tech’s charts but also ranked him 10th nationally. [2] 

Prior to his notable collegiate achievements, Stewart refined his diverse talents at Benedictine Military School, where he displayed his versatility by adeptly taking on the roles of wide receiver, safety, and kicker.  

His impeccable record in high school – successfully executing every field goal and extra point – was a clear early indicator of the athletic success he would later achieve at Georgia Tech. [1] 

Plans for Superbowl 2024 

Stewart is filled with excitement for the upcoming Superbowl 2024, eagerly looking forward to cheering for the Kansas City Chiefs alongside his friends.  

He has plans to soak in the game's thrilling atmosphere by visiting the renowned Rocky Mountain Pizza, making it a memorable experience. 

Stewart, appreciating the challenge of staying at the top in sports, sees a parallel in the Chiefs' resilience and the performance of their players, including former Georgia Tech kicker Harrison Butker

Charting the Future 

Stewart is focused on a professional football career and wishes to pursue Analytics parallelly. He's excited about his upcoming Accenture internship and is considering IT sector roles, particularly in cybersecurity. 

As he continues to score points, both on and off the football field, Stewart sets a high standard and serves as an inspiration for other student-athletes at Georgia Tech.  

Stewart's guidance for upcoming student-athletes at Georgia Tech is “Just know that it can be done. I know going to a school like Georgia Tech, pursue sports and maintain your academics can get rigorous and quite hard sometimes, but if you just work hard, it will work out.” 

Author: Atharva Anand Dave 

Gavin Stewart