… then why are there only four programs on this list?
Face it, kids. It’s harder to pigeonhole Mark Richt’s legacy than some of you like to admit. That’s not exactly a low bar for Kirby Smart to exceed, either.
For the most part, I like Mark Richt as a person, but there were times when he’d come out with some comment or observation that would get my back up. The most famous example of that was his “in the arena” brush off from a few years ago. Here’s another:
“When you turn over the play-calling as a head coach, you become more of just a CEO-type of coach,” Richt told SiriusXM College Sports Nation. “Obviously a lot of coaches had success doing it that way, and we did at Georgia, but it’s just not as much fun. You’re just not as involved. I think the players, over time, see you as the grandfather figure, just keeping an eye on everybody.”
At Miami, Richt is calling plays and coaching quarterbacks, and he says it’s mutually beneficial.
“Now, I’m in the heat of every meeting, the heat of every battle on the field, installing stuff, calling stuff, competing on a daily basis against a defense,” he said. “They see my energy, they see my competitive spirit that is more reserved if I’m not in the heat of it. I think it’s healthy for me. I’m enjoying it tremendously, and I think it’s healthy for the players to see me get down and dirty with everybody else.”
Jeez, you’re the head coach. If you don’t like the effect the program structure has on the way you run it, that’s on you, gramps.
And just to repeat the obvious, nobody made Mark Richt hire Schottenheimer when Bobo left. If it were best for Richt and the football program for him to be in the heat, that was the perfect opportunity to put himself back in the fire.
No, I’m not trying to feed anyone’s Mark Richt fixation here, but it’s almost eerie to read this piece about what’s being going on at Miami since he got there and hear a lot of echoes of what’s been going on at Georgia since he left.
You may have missed this news in the heat of the debate over the political stuff affecting Georgia athletics, but it may be another sign that Kirby Smart vs. The Georgia Way is a battle that the new head coach is winning in more ways than one.
Kirby Smart will have a scaled back UGA speaking tour from what Mark Richt did in recent spring stops.
Smart is expected to appear at just three fan events…
Richt appeared at seven UGA Day events last year and at 10 of 12 in 2014.
I guess Kirby doesn’t have time for that shit. Nor is McGarity, as he did with Richt, making Smart find time for it.
If you’ll recall, for all the highfalutin’ talk about how when McGarity took the AD job his intent was to allow Richt to focus on his core job responsibilities, the language in Richt’s contract was quite different.
It’s Richt’s job to maximize that revenue. His contract specifies that he “take any and all reasonable actions … to generate substantial net revenue for the Association and University,” an unusual clause for coaching contracts.
“It’s just stating the obvious,” McGarity says.
Richt’s contractual duties also include soliciting sponsors for marketing opportunities and helping to find donors for scholarship endowments…
… Richt’s contract is unusually specific about his media and other public relations duties, including no fewer than 12 appearances at Bulldog Club meetings throughout the Southeast and no fewer than two full days each year assisting the school’s president in fundraising activities. Parameters for his radio and TV appearances are spelled out in detail in his nearly 40-page contract and in greater detail in a 191-page multimedia and marketing rights licensing agreement that the contract specifies be provided to him.
Richt would never criticize that as bullshit, but it’s telling that at his new gig even he’s utilizing his time in other ways than was the case under McGarity.
Richt himself is doing extra work this spring thanks to his decision to wear multiple hats in the new job. Thomas Brown, a former Georgia running back under Richt, technically holds the offensive coordinator title, but Richt fully plans to call the offense. His son is technically the quarterback coach, but Kaaya hears plenty from the head man himself throughout practices.
He’s cut back on speaking engagements and returning written correspondence
“It’s just like, a lot of times you’ll see presidents of the university, when they retire from being president, they go back and teach. They go back to their first love, so to speak,” he said. “That’s what I’m doing.”
So if Kirby’s put his foot down here, good for him. You know this one had to hurt the keeper of the reserve fund a bit. Good thing there’s all that extra SEC Network money rolling in.
However skeptical I remain about the hiring process that brought Kirby Smart to Athens, he’s the man now and I hope for great things from him.
If there’s one thing that gives me that hope, it’s the answer that DJ Shockley gives Brandon Adams in response to the question how practice under Smart differs from practice under Richt.
“Kirby is all about the details” is the chicken soup to my Georgia fanboy soul. DJ was polite about how he phrased the difference between the two men, but you didn’t have to play for Richt to know that staying on top of every detail was not his strong suit.
If you want to know what I’ll judge Smart’s first year on, it won’t be wins and losses. It’ll be how few times I find myself pulling my hair out over some dumb omission.
Here we go.
One can only hope Bradley and Herbstreit chime in.