After more than three decades away, Mark Richt has officially proven that you can indeed go home again.
Confirming reports that first surfaced in the middle of the week, Miami announced Friday that Richt has indeed been hired as the Hurricanes next head football coach. Richt, fired by Georgia after 15 seasons with the Bulldogs this past weekend, will be officially introduced at a 10 a.m. ET press conference Friday.
The Nebraska native played his college football at The U from 1979-82, and was part of a quarterback room that included Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar and Vinny Testaverde. Richt began his coaching journey as a graduate assistant at in-state rival Florida State, but has now come full-circle in a career that’s spanned a decade and a half and 145 wins.
“We are blessed to have the opportunity to come to a world-class institution and world-renowned city and play a role in the life of the campus and community,” Richt said. “Returning to The U is truly an honor and I am humbled by the responsibility of leading our storied program. I can’t wait to get started.”
Richt will, in fact, get started right away on the next leg of his coaching journey as he personally informed his players in a Thursday meeting that he would not be coaching them in a bowl game. As the Hurricanes prepare for their upcoming bowl game, Richt will begin the process of formalizing a staff that he and the university hopes can get The U back on the national stage, a platform from which they’ve been missing for more than a decade.
“Coach Richt embodies the competitiveness, the integrity, the passion, the abilities, and the experience to lead our young men to ACC and national championships and help them become men of character and success long after,” athletic director Blake James said. “His passion for the game of football and for his student-athletes is evident in everything he does and we could not be more excited to welcome Mark and Katharyn and their family to Coral Gables.”
Richt is coming to a football program that’s won seven or fewer games seven times the past 10 seasons. In Richt’s 15 years in Athens, his Bulldogs won seven or fewer games just once — a 6-7 2010 campaign, from which he immediately bounced back with back-to-back 10-win seasons that included a pair of SEC East titles. Richt claimed two conference championships as well, the last of which came back in 2005, his fifth season at the school.
In the 11-year history of the ACC championship game, the Hurricanes have yet to make an appearance. In fact, The U’s last conference title came back in 2003, when they were a part of the Big East.