CORAL GABLES, Fla –Why did Miami sweep in so fast after Mark Richt?
“We knew we had to act quickly,” Miami athletic director Blake James said. “Mark Richt wasn’t going to stay on the shelf for long. There are not many great jobs out there and he’s a great coach.”
James would not discuss the search for Richt in detail. He would not also discuss the specifics on his salary.
“Mark’s salary is very fair based on the investment and the expectations we have in our program and the market we compete in,” James said. “If you want to compete to be the very best, then you have to go get the very best and we went and got the very best.”
He said he knew Richt was coming on Wednesday night. They spoke on the phone.
“He told me that he wanted to come home and be a part of our Hurricane family and meet our young men on our football program,” James said. “I couldn’t have been happier.”
James detailed that he contacted Richt “right away” earlier in the season when they made their change by firing Al Golden on Oct. 25 on the heels of the worst loss in school history.
He said he reached out to see if there was any interest at that point. At that point, Richt was still very much committed to UGA. It was still a few more days before another disappointing loss to Florida in Jacksonville.
“When that change came on Sunday, I picked up my phone and made that call right away,” James said. “As I said to these guys earlier, when you are the established coach and great leader and great person that Mark Richt is, he’s not sitting on the shelf. Everyone in the country realizes what his track record is. That’s not only on the field in terms of wins and losses, but in developing young men into leaders in the community and how he runs a program. That’s what we wanted here at the University of Miami and why we are here today.”
Richt will not be able to begin recruiting for the Hurricanes until he is cleared by NCAA compliance. That should come quickly. He was coy in his remarks on Friday about what he’s thinking in regard to his coaching staff.
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