Great story from Jeff Schultz ($$) about Mark Richt’s feeling on Georgia’s current level of success.
Richt accomplished remarkable things as Georgia’s coach. He took over a program that had eroded and hadn’t won an SEC championship in 20 years, and he won two conference titles in his first five seasons. His teams finished ranked in the top five three times and top 10 six times. He made the Bulldogs relevant again. He laid the foundation for what followed. In a four-team Playoff era, an argument could be made that his teams would’ve been in or in the debate in at least three postseasons (2002, 2007, 2012), maybe more.
But the Bulldogs never could get over the top in his 15 seasons in Athens. Richt shared in that heartache with fans. It’s why he beamed as big a smile as Smart and every fan in Indianapolis and across the state of Georgia last season when the Dogs defeated Alabama for the title. He knows what it meant to Smart, an alum who was Richt’s running backs coach in 2005. He knows what it meant to several of Smart’s assistants who coached for Richt, and to fans and supporters.
“It was fun to watch the fans’ reactions because it had been so long and Georgia had come so close enough times to break their hearts,” he said.
There aren’t any hard feelings, but it doesn’t sound like Richt kids himself about what changed, either.
“There’s always been a strong commitment to football obviously, but it went to another level when Kirby got there,” Richt said. “It’s kinda like, spare no expense for whatever we need to get the job done. Kirby certainly knew what it took to be at that elite level, and everybody cooperated.
In any event, coaching is a bottom line profession and Richt knows what that means ultimately.
“Things change over time, and I think we did the best we could with what we had. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough to win a national championship.”
Good stuff. Read the whole thing.
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