Oh, how the times have changed.
When Mark Richt returned home to Miami following the 2015 season, he was viewed by many as a football savior for a program that hadn’t sniffed national significance in more than a decade. And, at least initially, the prodigal son returning home paid dividends as the Hurricanes won 19 of their first 23 games under Richt, including the first 10 of a 2017 season that had thoughts of championships, conference, national and otherwise, dancing in The U fans’ heads.
Since beating Virginia on Nov. 18, 2017, however, Miami has gone 7-9 — 0-3 to close out the 2017 season, 7-6 in 2018. Included in that latter record was an embarrassing loss to Wisconsin Thursday night in the New Era Pinstripes Bowl, an “effort” so listless and lackluster that the social media calls for Richt’s head on a platter came fast and furious.
Seemingly in response to that, Richt’s boss, U-M athletic director Blake James, issued a statement Thursday night on social media in which he referred to the football team’s performance at times under Richt as “unacceptable” while at the same time seemingly giving the head coach the dreaded public vote of confidence.
While it seems highly unlikely that Richt is in danger of losing his job in the next month or so, it is very likely that the coach will enter the 2019 season high atop the coaching hot seat list. And, if he can’t find an answer at the quarterback position? He’ll very likely find himself on the coaching unemployment line at this time next year.