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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Richt defends his record

Mark Richt was fairly unflappable when he was under intense fire earlier this season. Eventually, the fire receded.

Then on Thursday, on the eve of the Liberty Bowl, the Georgia head football coach came as close as he has to issuing a defense.

It was at the tail end of a routine pre-bowl press conference, and Richt was discussing – as he has before – the importance of putting wins and losses in perspective. But he also felt the need to point something out.

“I think I’m like the fourth-winningest coach in America,” Richt said. “That’s not bad.”

Richt is 96-33 in 10 seasons at Georgia, with a winning percentage of .744. That’s fifth in the country, but fourth if you take out first-place Urban Meyer, who is stepping down from Florida after the Outback Bowl. (Richt was fourth in the country when this season started.)

From covering Richt throughout this season, the statement kind of jumped out. For one he's not the kind of guy to toot his own horn. Richt never jumped into the debate over his job security earlier this season, when the Bulldogs started 1-4. Then the team rebounded, and prior to the Auburn game, when the Bulldogs were 5-5, athletics director Greg McGarity announced that Richt would be back.

Richt’s comment on Friday came in response to a question about whether his steadfast nature, guided by his Christian faith, leads people to confuse that with not caring enough about wins and losses.

“They might,” Richt said, nodding. “But I’ve been doing it that way for 20-some years. Twenty-five. I love the game of football. I love to compete. I love the winning. But I don’t ever want to put that ahead of a young man’s ability to get his degree, a young man’s ability to learn right from wrong.

“We are still educators in my opinion. And we educate these young guys not only academically but when it comes to life in general.”

Richt then spoke for a bit longer on dealing with adversity, and how the team held together this season. A short time later he made his fourth-winningest comment, adding:

“We’ve got a lot of rings and watches and championships and all that kind of stuff too,” he said. “But I think we need to keep things in perspective sometimes.”


Anonymous said...

Good for him.

<--- Dawg Stephen Himself said...

What he said, what he meant, how he handled it, and the way he goes about it, is reason enough for you to see why I support this man 100%.

He WILL win and win big at UGA. Just let the man do his job.

Anonymous said...

Richt isn't getting paid $3M a year to be an educator. He's getting paid to win games and he has lost just as many as he won this year. He needs to take a hard look in the mirror and see if the fire to win is still there. It is comments like this that makes me think he needs to do mission work. I don't hear Saban or Meyers talking like this.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dawgstephen.... so you are 100 % of his SEC record for the last 5 years? Mark Richt hasnt done squat for the last 5 years. That includes 2007 when the dawgs lost to a pathetic SC team and got our brains bashed in by Rocky Top. Mark Richt is a good man but not a great gameday coach. Sorry but this guy wont win the big prize for UGA.

Anonymous said...

Im ready for a Mike Leach to coach at UGA. Mark Richt's Boys Home of the South is getting old. 3 million dollars a year should have gotten UGA more SEC championships and at least 1 MNC.

Anonymous said...

Mike Leach....seriously? Mike Leach. And you think the defense is bad now. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Mike Leach Offensive #s were top 15 every year. Mark Richts... not.

Anonymous said...

UGA's bowl game yesterday was the worst job of coaching I have ever seen in UGA history. Someone at the game said "the boys just wasn't playing". Well, if that was the case, I don't blame them, after the statement Richt sent them on the first drive of the game. After driving the ball straight down the field with a 4th and inches, on their 2 yard line, our coach kicks a field goal. If I'm a player, that tells me, my coach has no confidence in me. Why should I have any confidence in him?

Anonymous said...

Hey Coach Richt, be thankful you are not a coach in the state of Alabama. The only stat you would be listed in there, is the percentage of the unemployed!