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. It’s also a great new challenge for Richt, but not one dissimilar to when he came to Athens in 2001, when Vince Dooley hired him to bring the Bulldogs back to SEC glory. The Miami program no longer is buried under NCAA probation but it never has fully recovered from sanctions. The Hurricanes fired coach Al Golden this season, which included a 58-0 home loss to Clemson.
If this is what Richt really wants, good for him. He never struck me as a guy who want to coach after his Georgia tenure ended, and he often spoke of coming to Athens with the idea of it being his last job. But clearly being fired didn’t sit well with him and there are some unresolved issues in his mind, some things he still wants to accomplish. Now he’ll have that opportunity.
On a far less important note: Georgia needs a coach for the bowl game. Any volunteers?