NEW ORLEANS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart was among the first to send his well wishes to Mark Richt via Twitter after the former Bulldogs coach announced his retirement on Sunday.
Smart was the running backs coach under Richt with the Bulldogs in 2005 and inherited a program that was on solid footing in 2016 when he replaced him as Georgia’s head coach.
Several of Richt’s players, including 2017 SEC Defensive Player of the Year Roquan Smith and current NFL backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michele, were instrumental in Georgia’s march to the 2017 SEC title and College Football Playoff Championship Game.
Former UGA tight end Arthur Lynch also gave an emotional farewell to Richt.
The Bulldogs’ current class of seniors were all Richt recruits, and they have put together a 42-12 record with three bowl victories.
Richt, the 2017 ACC Coach of the Year in 2017 and Walter Camp Coach of the Year last season, released a retirement letter.
Richt coached three seasons for his alma mater with the Hurricanes, most recently finishing 7-6 in 2018 with a 35-3 loss to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl.
The 58-year-old Richt was 26-13 at Miami overall, including a 16-8 conference mark and a Coastal Division title.