ATHENS — Georgia has fired head football coach Mark Richt after 15 seasons, a source confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and DawgNation on Sunday.
The school released a statement saying Richt and the school “mutually agreed” to part ways. But after Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech Richt made clear he intended to be recruiting on Sunday.
“Coach Richt and I met Sunday morning to discuss the status of our football program,” Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said in a statement. “And we mutually agreed that he would step down as head coach and would have the opportunity to accept other duties and responsibilities at UGA following the bowl game.”
Richt is the second-winningest coach in Georgia football history, after Vince Dooley, and the first in winning percentage.
The plan is for Richt to coach in Georgia’s bowl game, which has not been determined yet.
“I appreciate the opportunity of serving the University as well as considering any other options that may present themselves in the future,” Richt said in a statement.
There will be a press conference on Monday, the school said.
Richt has made clear several times that he didn’t intend to pursue any other jobs, which has been confirmed by those around him, at least for next season. McGarity and UGA president Jere Morehead both said in statements that Richt has been asked to stay with the university in some capacity, although Richt’s statement did not address that possibility.
“I have asked Mark to remain engaged with the institution in a new leadership role, and I look forward to hopefully working closely with him as we advance our capital campaign at the University of Georgia,” Morehead said. “I know all UGA alumni and supporters will look forward to celebrating the successful conclusion of his coaching career at UGA in a bowl game later this year.”
McGarity’s statement thanked Richt and his wife Katharyn for their 15 years of “remarkable service” to Georgia and the community.
“Mark has touched thousands of lives over the past 15 years – he has a huge heart and his positive influence has affected many people, young and old,” McGarity said. “We will never actually know how many people were positively impacted by a comforting phone call, a sympathetic or uplifting note, an autographed football or photo – he had the unique ability to shine a bright light on others when they needed it most.”