Mark Richt believes Parkinson’s symptoms date back to coaching at Georgia

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mark Richt may have been suffering symptoms of Parkinson’s disease as far back as his final years coaching at Georgia.

Richt, who coached the Bulldogs from 2001-2015 before finishing his career at Miami, Fla., from 2016-2018, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in May but didn’t reveal it until July 1.

“Even going back as far as Georgia, just my energy seemed depleted,” Richt said on Wednesday night in a small group chat, per ESPN. “You know, working 15 years at Georgia could do that, too, so you didn’t really know what it was.

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“But even in Miami, I decided I was going to call plays again. I should have taken a year off, and within 48 hours, I get the job and I’m going to be the play-caller and all that stuff. But I can recall just not being able to spit it out as quickly. And I was thinking, well, maybe it’s slightly new terminology, and looking back, it probably wasn’t.”

Richt also suffered a heart attack in October of 2019, tweeting out that same day he would be fine and planned to return to work.

“I wanted to be able to inform everyone that I did have a heart attack this morning. I am doing fine,” Richt tweeted at the time. “As I went through the experience I had peace knowing I was going to heaven but I was going to miss my wife. I plan to be at work this week.”

The 61-year-old Richt, who has moved back to the Athens area to be closer to family, continues to work with the ACC Network and will release his new book, “Make the Call,” next month.

Richt said doctors discovered he had Parkinson’s after he began experiencing issues with his motor skills and balance, as well as fatigue.

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