“I didn’t choose to leave Georgia.”

Over at The Athletic (you know, you really should subscribe), you’ll find a lengthy piece on Mark Richt ($$), where he says —  surprise! — he never wanted to leave Athens.

Now, some of you may choose not to believe that, but you know who did?  The people at Miami who interviewed Richt for that job after he was fired.

“His interview was very boring, just to be quite honest,” Vilma says. “There was really not a lot of energy, and in the middle of the interview he kind of apologized because he was still kind of getting over being fired by Georgia. He didn’t expect that to happen.

“I took that as something really positive, because everything that he was saying, No. 1, was genuine, and No. 2, it showed he is committed to the long term. Like, he wanted to stay at Georgia until he retired…”

Not that I expect that to change many minds, but, what the hell, thought I’d share.

76 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

76 responses to ““I didn’t choose to leave Georgia.”

  1. ChiliDawg

    I have absolutely no hard feelings toward Mark Richt. I was a very outspoken proponent of making a change during his final years, but I never doubted his commitment to Georgia, or his desire to coach here forever. I just thought it was time to move on. The criticism of his decisions that led to his undoing is valid, but the stuff about him looking to leave for Miami is just bewildering.

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  2. Athens Townie

    Lately, I haven’t heard many (if any) folks question whether Richt wanted to stay at UGA until the end of his career. Of course he did. I mean, who wouldn’t want to collect millions of dollars a year in Athens at one of the best coaching gigs in the country?

    Problem was… Richt wasn’t doing his job. He didn’t keep the program at a level that would allow him to collect millions of dollars a year in Athens at one of the best coaching gigs in the country until the end of his career.

    In fact, he could’ve gotten canned in the 2009-2011 range if UGA were a less patient institution.

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    • I just think he was burned out. Truth be told, I’d love to know how much that 2013 season took out of him.

      Add in spitting the bit in Jax in 2014 and the disastrous Schotty hire, and I think we was in a situation that he realized needed to change, but he was so far removed at that point that there was no reason to believe he knew how to go about doing that.

      If Kentucky could have made a FG in 2007, Richt probably has his NC.

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      • DaddyRichATL

        Sh*t if Vandy simply doesn’t jump offsides on 3rd and very long against Tennesse in 2007, he has his NC!!
        %@&#!!

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        • Macallanlover

          Same weirdness occurred against Kentucky and SC for TN, any of which kept UGA out of SEC title game a likely MNC. It happened with ohio in 2002, although not as many, or as bad as those three plays. 2012 SECCG was another one play example. It takes so much to go right to get a MNC, last January 8 with the blocked FG the most recent example.

          But it was time, and has worked out well for everyone. CMR seems energized again. (I always thought Kathryn’s cancer is when he stepped away a bit and never got totally back. Plus he didn’t ever handle the CEO role adjustment that well.) I just hate the way it was handled, beyond clumsy and dishonest, and the way so many carry a torch for a guy who got UGA back on track and bridged the way to where we are today. Will be nice when some fanscan grow beyond the anger directed at him and recognize what a DGD he was…and is.

          Liked by 2 people

          • california_dawg

            Very well put.

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          • Mac: agreed very well put. I still do not get the loathing some folks, on here and other places, have for the man. Maybe the elusive NC, so they could have wet dreams.

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            • Otto

              Mac well said, I think many don’t so much carry a torch for Richt but a torch for the “what if fans”. Granted yes there are fans that carry a torch for and against Richt. If a fan base and program treat titles as mythical things then they will be mythical once in a lifetime things. Some fans are in the camp of wanting facilities, recruitment, and support staff to be on par with championship winning programs without cheating or over signing, and as such we want to be moving in a direction of putting the elements together to win within the rules. If we have learned anything since Richt was fired, it is that there was dysfunction at just about every level from Pres to AD to HC, to OC/DC. Blame in a situation like this is rarely on 1 person.

              Richt is a good guy who worked to improve the program as best he knew how and did bring SEC championships to a program which had not enjoy that success since the early 80s. I wish it had worked out, and that things were handled better but everyone is in a better place now.

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              • Macallanlover

                There were many factors that made the job more difficult, including a lack of harmony within BM and a bad prez. Some was his own lack of success in winning the battles inside the organization, getting some UGA policies modified that tied our hands relative to our competitors’ situations, etc. Kirby is much more a roll your sleeves up guy willing to wade in and slug it out. He also has the influential boosters paving the way, and that is great for UGA football. The Mark Richt at the end would never have gotten us this far along, so we are better off with the changes that occurred, but he did nothing to deserve the animosity and public attacks we have all seen here.

                Sure he a good man, but he was more than that, and deserves the negativity to go away. It makes Georgia look bad, the same way FSU had to get past the bitterness toward Bowden at the end. He did so much more for their program, but the nut cases turned on him too. Bad look, no one wins when supporters like that aren’t reeled in.

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                • Otto

                  What sort of public attacks are you alluding because on here it actually has not been all that much. He had his short comings which is fair game to point out. The UGA fan base while it does have fans that should be reeled is actual quite small in comparison to other regular conference title contenders. Spend some time in Alabama during the fall or around an Ohio St fan.

                  I do agree with the benefits on Smart. Richt was very well liked by many of the boosters which is why he stayed when hot seat discussion was persistent for whatever reason Richt could not leverage that into advancing the program. Richt tied his own hands by under signing in addition to not pushing for the support staff and facilities. I do not see these as attacks just stating as surface level view of what many view as what happened and an assessment of where the program was and is heading. At this point most are not angry at him, nor sad that he is gone, I would not say happy he is gone but happy both UGA and CMR are having success.

                  As I alluded to before the “what if ers” does annoy me. I am not focused on the what ifs of ’02, ’05, ’07, ’12 or ’17. UGA is moving forward and upward with an expectation of Ws and fewer fans are in the mindset of chasing something mythical.

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            • ChiliDawg

              Like Otto alluded to – I think a lot of the “loathing,” so to speak was directed more at the segment of the fan base who dug their heels in on Richt and insisted that they wanted to keep him for reasons that had nothing to do with football. “Richt is a good man” was never a point of contention, however that being the crux of the argument for keeping him was quite contentious.

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              • MGW

                There wasn’t a soul who thought he should have survived just because he was a good man. That was just the straw man retort you could count on if you made any defense of him.

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                • Otto

                  Bull… There were many that thought he was bordering on blameless, the problem was mostly McGarity, and Richt was a piece or 2 from that magical year.

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          • The Dawg abides

            In all fairness, what the vols did to keep UGA out of the championship game was beat the living hell out of us in Knoxville that year.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Macallanlover

              Don’t think anyone missed that, or would argue that made moot the other strange breaks that went against those three teams in their games against TN. But the bigger point is the fine line that changes perception forever. We would not have been the only team that saw history change because of something they had no control over (Clemson’s MNC because of a missed 30 yard FG by NCST’s kicker, they would not have been in the playoffs at all if the kicker makes a chip shot at the end. And that was in their game, it often happens to teams when they are not involved at all.)

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          • Mayor

            Agree Mac.

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      • I think ‘14 took more out of him than we’ll ever know. The team is riding high with the Heisman Trophy favorite just to see the rug pulled out from under him for something he had zero control over. Watching the AD dither over the NCAA appeal had to have him thinking, “Does this guy really want us to be successful?”

        Combine that with the injuries of ‘13 and the Prayer at Jordan-Hare … you gets guy who was tired and burned out.

        I hope he finds a way to win the ACC this year.

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      • Wells Smith

        Absolutely. We were the best team in the country coming down the stretch that year. And to think, Kentucky actually got a turnover in OT & still couldn’t convert.

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  3. Biggus Rickus

    Outside of a handful of conspiracy theorists, I don’t think many doubt that Richt didn’t want to leave Georgia.

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  4. Jonathan Vilma was involed in Miami’s coaching search?

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  5. Mark Richt – a man of his word, who knew?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. heyberto

    Wait.. so people think Richt was intentionally trying to get fired? That surprises me.

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    • DawgPhan

      You must be new here. Yes there are quite a few people who have floated that notion.

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      • PTC DAWG

        8 million reasons.

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        • Macallanlover

          Sickening. Guess because he sooo about money over principle, huh? Must be hard for you to understand folks like that I suppose.

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      • heyberto

        Nope, been here for years.

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        • There have been more than a few commenters here that have expressed on multiple occasions over the last three years that Richt purposely threw the 2014 and 2015 Florida games (and possibly the 2014 Tech game) so he could collect a buyout by getting fired instead of quitting.

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          • Macallanlover

            No just a few, but it made many of us take cover thinking the end was near because the crazies were loose amongst us.

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          • JCDawg83

            I firmly believe he threw the ’15 Florida game to insure he was fired. If he wins that game Georgia wins the East and he doesn’t get fired and doesn’t collect the $4 million buyout. The ’14 Florida game and the ’14 tech game were examples of his coaching ineptitude, you can throw the ’14 SC game in with those as well, he lost those honestly.

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            • And it sounds just as stupid hearing it repeated three years later as it did at the time.

              Liked by 1 person

              • JCDawg83

                Almost as bad as reading the Stockholm Syndrome comments of the con man’s scam he pulled for 8 years. I guess you can continue to take comfort in telling yourself what a “good man” he was.

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                • DoubleDawg1318

                  JC, I think you have some moon landings to investigate. Don’t forget your tinfoil hat while you’re at it. Also there’s this dude named Alex Jones you might be interested in. I’m going to stop now. You know what they say, “If you can’t say something nice…”

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            • Macallanlover

              Just plain weird JC. You may need professional help. Do you play the role of the brother that wraps himself in tinfoil on Better Call Saul?

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    • Argondawg

      I also never heard that. I always felt like Richt loved UGA, I do feel like he was absolutely exhausted fighting his own administration. The guy always wanted the best for the program. I still have an enormous amount of respect and gratitude for Coach Richt. We were the best we had ever been under Richt……..until now. I hope he kicks ass at the U and I loathe the U.

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      • heyberto

        Yeah, he always said he wanted to retire at UGA, so this report is not telling us anything new, unless you’re a conspiracy theorist. Anyone that doesn’t think they can take his word at face value hasn’t been paying attention to how he walks his own talk. I feel as you do about the man. He’ll always be a DGD to me, even if it was time to move on.

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  7. Russ

    Shoot, I have it on good authority (meaning I read it here) that some guy’s brother knew a guy that talked to a woman that went to the beach in Miami where she heard that Miami wanted to hire Mark Richt. Ironclad!

    Richt will always be a DGD to me. The change has worked out well for all parties, and I wish he and Miami luck up until we face them in the playoffs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mayor

      That is a likely scenario too. Miami is picked to win the ACC Coastal. If the Canes upset Clemmons Miami is in the 4 team playoff.

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  8. Jim

    That article was so Richt. Let’s talk about how to make a sandwich or use time in the QB room to ask the QBs whether they are going to eat Thanksgiving dinner by mixing everything on the plate or keeping it separate.

    No wonder we were known as soft. He had become so aloof. Go back and find the Finebaum interview of Richt before the 2015 Alabama game. I watched that video and knew right then we were going to get out arses handed to us

    And nothing about what he has done in Miami suggests he has changed at all. Got into the Top 5 last year right up until he ended the lesson with 3 straight losses

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    • Biggen

      This. He has proven to be a 9-10 win coach which is good. But after a decade and a half, we (UGA fans) desire more.

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  9. DawgPhan

    A lot of coaches like Richt dont get another chance after getting fired from a job like Georgia.

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  10. Argondawg

    Is the Atlantic worth the subscription?

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    • Argondawg

      athletic @#$%

      Like

    • Biggen

      The ‘Athletic’ has able to recruit as well as UGA has in the last year and has pulled nearly every sports journalist worth a damn over to their payroll and put them behind a paywall. So you are basically strong armed into getting that sub if you want to read good journalism about all sporting events and not just UGA.

      But, yes, it is worth it. Especially with the 1st year subscription coupons flying around.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yurdle

      Yes. I’ve never before paid for news, but I’ve been very pleased. Seth Emerson alone is worth it.

      It’s a good business model when you pay for what you want (good sports writing, in this case) instead of having people write to attract traffic to sell you things. The model incentivizes quality, not just click-chasing.

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    • ChiliDawg

      I’ve enjoyed it thus far. I read it for more than just college football, though. They do quite a bit of English Premier League coverage, which has been a big plus for me. Also they have a fantasy sports team as well, if you’re into that.

      Like

    • Chopdawg

      May be in the minority, but I don’t like The Athletic so far. Most of what I’ve read is rehashing of old news; for instance, David O’Brien’s story on Dale Murphy. I really don’t need any more articles about Dale Murphy, I’ve seen a bunch of them already. Mark Richt has been gone from UGA for several seasons, I’ve read a lot about him & don’t think I need to read anymore.

      Seems like The Athletic is going for in-depth character pieces, but I’m looking for today’s news, with maybe a little bit of insight into why what happened today happened. I was hoping The Athletic would be a newspaper but instead it’s a magazine.

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  11. Uglydawg

    Love the man, but content with the way things have worked out.
    He had a lot of good years at Georgia and by today’s standards he stayed for a long time.
    Someday, Georgia should find a way to honor him…after he retires..maybe have a ceremony at homecoming and name something after him..something like that.
    Hoping he wins the ACC this year.

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  12. Bright Idea

    Richt’s constant declaration that he’d never leave UGA became one of his greatest handicaps. The administration knew they could operate on the cheap and Richt, even when he had the clout, would never fight them on it. He and the whole crew became complacent and finally dysfunctional. Yes, several breaks went against him but they became excuses, not reasons to improve.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Former Fan

    Can you imagine what we could have had at UGA if the admin had supported CMR like they do CKS? I still am amazed that CMR needed to pay assistant coaches out of his own pocket. He was never supported like he should have been. No telling what he could have done if he would have been.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bigshot

    Maybe if he would have got some of that renewed vigor at UGA like he supposedly does at Miami, he would gave kept his job.

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  15. This comment section became predictable as hell.

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  16. No Axe to Grind

    I bet he did hate leaving UGA. What a shame.

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    • Mayor

      Well…he got paid $4 Million as a lump sum then landed in his hometown as HC at his alma mater (a nationally ranked program) making millions of dollars there. Cry him a river.

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  17. There are people who don’t think Richt was fired in Athens? Seriously?

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  18. Jared S.

    Sometimes, for brief (very brief) moments, I wish I could see what would happen if Mark Richt won a Natty before Kirby Smart…..

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  19. fred

    CMR coasted for the last 5 years!

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  20. DawgByte

    Richt for Georgia AD, anyone?

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  21. Ben

    In another timeline, one where Saban won a super bowl or two in Miami, Richt would still be our guy, and he’d be a god on campus. We’d be happy with 10 or 11 wins a year and always dreading that hiccup, but every now and then that hiccup wouldn’t come, and he’d get over the hump.

    He may only have one natty, but he’d still own Auburn and Tech, and we’d have some sec hardware.

    And I’m okay with that timeline, too.

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  22. Bigshot

    The ”rings gather dust” crowd is out I. full force.

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    • DoubleDawg1318

      I have one. It does gather dust. Is it really special to me? Yes. Do I live my life every day thinking about how awesome I am because I have a ring? No. I want a national title just as much as the next Dawg fan. I was in a funk for about 4 days after the last game, but a ring can’t give anyone life satisfaction. Just look at the spoiled Bama fans.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. DoubleDawg1318

    Count me as one who really wanted CMR, as a man of character, to bring home a title in a dirty profession (see OSU, Baylor, FSU, Ole Miss, etc.). Looking back, a change needed to be made and it has clearly worked out for both parties. CMR accomplished a lot at Georgia, and I have absolutely zero respect for the low-life Georgia fans on here who continue trashing the man because they didn’t get their precious ring. I’m also thrilled at the progress CKS has made and the future is dazzling.

    CMR did good things for Georgia. CKS is doing good things for Georgia. That’s really all that needs to be said.

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