I’m not sure if this makes me a Richtophobe or a Richtophile, but Nick Chubb’s comparison of his two head football coaches leaves as many questions for me as answers.
From Richt, he learned how to set priorities, and that “being a great man is more important” than being a great football player.
“He definitely was a strong man of faith,” Chubb said. “That rubbed off on us, how he approached every day and lived his life. Definitely a great man to look up to.”
But the culture under Richt — at least near the end of his tenure — was apparently not conducive to strong leadership among players. Chubb said the biggest difference with Smart was that he lets the team leaders call the shots.
“It was just more of a player-led team,” Chubb said. “Guys were finally fed up with losing so we kinda just took it over ourselves. Coach Smart was there and supported us and kind of led us in the right direction with doing that.”
Those leadership moments included calling players-only meetings and taking control at practices, per Chubb.
“Coaches didn’t have to get on anybody,” he said. “We’d get on them ourselves and hold everybody accountable.”
So Richt was a figure of admiration, but didn’t inspire the players to lead themselves, while Smart, who’s a notorious control freak (and in this context, I mean that as a compliment), let team leaders call the shots. Um, sure. There’s no doubt Smart got better results out of this team than late vintage Richt did, but I’m having a hard time seeing the grounds for it in Chubb’s explanation. What am I missing here?