ATHENS — The timing was unfortunate for supporters of Mark Richt.
A rally was held on Sanford Bridge on Sunday for the recently-ousted Georgia football coach. It had been planned since this past Wednesday, before news had broken that Richt was taking the head coaching job at Miami. And then it was planned for 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, or just about an hour or so after Kirby Smart was named Georgia’s new head coach.
So the “crowd” that actually showed up on a clear and crisp afternoon was sparse. But they remained passionate in their feelings about the Bulldogs’ coach of the last 15 years.
“You don’t know how much a coach means to you or a community until it’s decided that he’s leaving,” said Brittany Thoms of Athens, UGA class of 2004. “Coach Richt has influenced hundreds of thousands during his time at Georgia, and I am one of them.”
Those in attendance prayed, shared stories and laughed. Many said they intend to support Smart as the Bulldogs’ new coach, but that they’ll also be rooting hard for Miami.
When originally planned it was hope Richt might attend. But he’s bust recruiting players in his new job at Miami. Some in attendance had held out hope Richt might show up.