The Mark Richt era in Athens has officially come to a complete end.
It was announced Sunday that Richt and Georgia “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.” However, reports surfaced Wednesday night that Richt and Miami had reached an agreement for the coach to take over the Hurricanes.
Thursday afternoon, Miami sent out a press release announcing their new head football coach, which they declined to name, will be introduced at a 10 a.m. pres conference Friday morning. In the interim, and because he’s the classy person that he is, Richt personally informed his now-former players that he will be accepting other responsibilities at another university and will not be their head coach for the Bulldogs’ bowl game, wherever that might be.
That, current and future coaches, is how you handle leaving a job where young men you’ve recruited are involved.
With Richt out as a the coach in a bowl game, assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon will take over on an interim basis and guide the Bulldogs through the postseason. It’s expected to be announced no earlier than Monday that Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will replace Richt on a permanent basis.
“I’ve asked Bryan to assume all administrative duties of the head coach,” said athletic director Greg McGarity in a statement. “This will be the least disruptive option for our players and staff as they begin preparations for our bowl game.”
The release confirming Richt won’t coach the bowl game further stated that “[o]ffensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, as well as all other assistant coaches, will remain in their present roles with current responsibilities.”