I didn’t think Mark Richt would coach again. If he did coach again, I figured it wouldn’t be at a major Power 5 conference program like Miami but something more manageable and intimate. But apparently the call from home was too strong to resist, and presumably so was the dissatisfaction with the way things ended in Athens.
Multiple reports are reporting that Richt, who fired from Georgia Sunday, reached an agreement Wednesday night to take the coaching job from the Miami Hurricanes, his alma mater. The deal was first reported by CanesInSight.com and later confirmed by ESPN, but it hasn’t been confirmed by the university.
For what it’s worth: Miami is scheduled to come to Atlanta next season to play Georgia Tech, but the date hasn’t been set yet.
Richt seemed like a man at peace at a news conference Monday. He talked about how much he missed having a more hands-on approach to his football team, coaching quarterbacks and calling plays, neither of which he did in recent years with the Bulldogs. But the suddenly absent pressures of not recruiting or being the CEO of a major-college program looked good on him. He talked about how much he was looking forward to exhaling, enjoying time with his wife and living in Athens.
OK. I fell for it.
Assuming this deal goes through — and all of the financial aspects reportedly are in place for both Richt and a significantly increased budget for his coaching staff — it’s a home run for the Miami program, which gains instant credibility.
As for Richt, it’s a big challenge and not too dissimilar to when he came to Athens in 2001, when Vince Dooley hired him to bring the Bulldogs back to SEC glory. But while the Miami program is no longer buried under NCAA probation, it never has fully recovered from sanctions. The Hurricanes fired coach Al Golden this season, which included a 58-0 home loss to Clemson.
The question: Was this the best choice for Richt, given how worn down he seemed after the past few seasons? Taking time off might have been the better choice. But if this is what he really wants, good for him.
Richt never struck me as a guy who wanted to coach after his Georgia tenure ended. He often spoke of coming to Athens with the idea of Georgia being his final job. But clearly being fired didn’t sit well with him and there are some unresolved issues in his mind, things he still wants to accomplish. Now he’ll have that opportunity.
On a far less important note: Georgia likely needs a coach for the bowl game. Any volunteers?• Recent ramblings • On Kirby Smart, coordinators and a loud but effective strength coach (with video) • Kirby Smart hire makes sense for Georgia, even if wow factor lacking • Richt will enjoy quiet for first time, may be done coaching • Greg McGarity’s career will be defined by first major hire • Falcons have a problem, and surprisingly it’s their quarterback • Richt’s firing confirms what many believed: It was time for a change • McGarity mum on Richt, and Georgia’s win doesn’t feel like a celebration • Short takes on Georgia’s win • Johnson, Bobinski confident about Tech’s future • Weekend Predictions: Dogs over Jackets in Bad Aura Bowl • A new tradition, in the spirit of Furman Bisher: Giving thanks (to those who deserve it) • Overreaction Monday: Richt’s status, Ryan’s fall, and does Tech have a chance? • Georgia Tech loses Justin Thomas, ball and all hope • Short takes: Jackets lose Thomas, fumble nine times (yes, nine) • Weekend Predictions: It’s marshmallow opponent week • Coppolella tired of being roasted, says, ‘We are not tanking’ • Roddy White has survived far worse things than reduced role in offense: tragedy • Why are those Freeman T-shirts included in Braves’ clearance sale? • Overreaction Monday: Richt’s ploy, Falcons’ bye, Braves’ salary dump • Jeremy Pruitt’s defense is salvaging Georgia’s season • Short takes on Georgia’s win over Auburn • Simmons gone, and Braves’ offseason already looking like last one • Weekend Predictions: It’s not a good time to invest in Georgia • Former Georgia player Faloughi at center of Missouri protests • Overreaction Monday: Kyle Shanahan, have you met Roddy White? • Latest Falcons’ embarrassment is on Dan Quinn • Short takes: This Falcons’ loss is on Dan Quinn • Weekend Predictions: Dogs in middle of Dysfunction Junction • Georgia’s finish, Eason status shouldn’t tilt Richt decision • Richt should take over Georgia’s struggling offense • Overreaction Monday: Loss-loss-loss means chaos all around • Mark Richt has failed too many big moments — it’s time for a change at Georgia • Falcons may be 6-2 but they don’t look the part • Short takes: Sloppy Falcons gift-wrap game for mediocre Bucs • Matt Ryan: ‘It comes down to me being better’