Tag Archives: Mark Richt

Where it all began

I’m not exactly sure why — warm feelings of nostalgia, maybe — but West Virginia’s defensive coordinator is looking at film of the 2006 Sugar Bowl to prep for the Mountaineers’ bowl game against Miami.

“I have studied that film (of the Sugar Bowl) a little bit,” defensive coordinator Tony Gibson explained. “It is very similar to what they are doing now in Miami is similar to what they were doing back in 2006. We have it, we have watched it, I haven’t shared it much with the kids at this point, it’s more for coaches to look at.

“Again, they are a run team first, they run with power, they are more of a conventional offense, an old-school get in the “I“, it is going to look different for our guys, it is going to look foreign.”

Old man football, indeed.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

An alternate theory of the crime

I know there’s a certain portion of the black helicopter crowd that likes to insist the best way to understand Mark Richt’s decision to start Faton Bauta against Florida is that it was a deliberate move to force Greg McGarity to fire him in order to collect a fat buyout (on an unsigned contract, mind you, but, hey, they’re rolling here, so let that pass).

While I don’t claim to have any direct insight into the man’s soul, it seems to me there’s another explanation that’s more realistic.  Read this comment Richt made to Paul Finebaum yesterday:

“I was really seriously considering taking a year off and just decide where the landscape was at that time,” Richt said on the show. “Thirty-three years in a row coaching can wear you down. So I was thinking, ‘Hey, maybe I’ll just sit this one out and rejuvenate my body and my spirit and all that.’ But within hours of the thing happening, I had so many former players just call and text and just kind of thank me for all the things that they felt like I did to help them. … I was like, ‘Well, maybe I’m not done doing this.’ And before you know it, I had about six schools wanting me to be their head coach, and one of them was Miami, and I knew Miami wasn’t going to be open a year later.”

I don’t know about you, but to me that very much sounds like a guy struggling with an advanced case of burn out.  No, that doesn’t excuse the product on the field we saw in 2015.  However, it sure makes it easier for me to understand the context for that.  And given that McGarity doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who’s gifted at helping someone recharge his batteries, so to speak, a parting of the ways between Richt and the program he headed for fifteen seasons seems more sensible than ever.

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Filed under Georgia Football

You may be a 2016 Georgia fan if…

… you take more pleasure out of the administration squirming to avoid facing Mark Richt in a bowl game than the outcome of the bowl game itself.

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Filed under Georgia Football

You can kick the coach out of Athens…

… but you can’t kick Athens out of the coach.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Six degrees of Richt

The big firings this week have a common thread that Bill Connelly uncovered.

In this way, Miles has been done in by something that has been the doom of many successful coaches: coordinator hires.

Georgia’s Mark Richt lost successful offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, replaced him with Brian Schottenheimer, and was unemployed within the year.

Fifteen years earlier, Bobby Bowden picked his son Jeff to replace Richt. FSU had averaged 38.1 points per game and 10.9 wins per season with Richt’s offense. Those fell to 29.5 and 8.5, respectively.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly lost defensive coordinator Bob Diaco in 2014. The Irish had finished fourth, 17th, and fourth in Def. S&P+ in Diaco’s first three seasons; under new DC Brian VanGorder, Notre Dame finished 43rd in 2014 and 35th in 2015. It’s early, but the Irish are thus far 78th in 2016. VanGorder is out after a 1-3 2016 start.

In nine seasons as an NFL coordinator, Schottenheimer (once Cameron’s quarterbacks coach at San Diego) had only twice produced an offense that ranked better than 21st out of 32 in Offensive DVOA.

VanGorder was trickier to evaluate. In four years as Richt’s coordinator at Georgia (2001-04), his defenses never allowed more than 20 points per game, and in four years as DC of the Atlanta Falcons, his defenses improved each year. His lone Auburn defense wasn’t very good (56th in Def. S&P+ in 2012), but it was better than the one before it (62nd in 2011). Still, his acumen did not fit in South Bend.

There’s a Mark Richt has lost control joke in there somewhere, no?

By the way, Schottenheimer was once Cameron’s quarterbacks coach?  I guess I should have been paying more attention when he was hired.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“That guy was a god in Atlanta.”

He may have worn out his welcome with the Georgia fan base (okay, maybe not all of the Georgia fan base), but Mark Richt is a boffo, box office smash in Coral Gables.

Georgia’s loss has been Miami’s gain. Richt has come home, and South Florida has embraced his return.

“His arms are open to former players and the community, and it’s just beautiful,’’ said former UM cornerback Tolbert Bain, 52, with whom Richt conferred about his plan to regularly visit youth football programs throughout South Florida. “I want to send the Georgia athletic director a fruit basket for doing us this great favor.’’

Among the many ways UM has benefited even before Richt’s opener against FAMU at 6 p.m. Saturday:

▪ Season-ticket sales are expected to reach 40,000.

▪ Hurricane Club membership has exceeded 10,000 for the first time and reached an all-time high $12 million through its annual fund.

▪ Fund-raising for a $28 million to $30 million indoor practice facility, for which Richt pledged $1 million, has been strong.

▪ Former players are reinvigorated by Richt’s insistence on their inclusion in UM’s events and culture.

▪ Overall fan exuberance, with Richt’s avid support of the community, is palpable.

“It’s the direction we want to go — back toward the top,” UM athletic director Blake James said. “Since last Dec. 4, when we announced Mark’s hiring, there has been a real wave of energy around the program.”

Said Richt of the “outpouring” of support: “It has been a little overwhelming.”

Maybe you can go home again.  After all, everybody has hope.

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Filed under ACC Football

Does Logan Gray have any eligibility left?

Asking for a friend

“A lot of people want the most prolific return man, but I want the most dependable return man, first,” Richt said Monday. “If he happens to be the most prolific as a runner and can stick it in the end zone, great, but if he’s great at that and doesn’t field the ball well or secure the ball well, he won’t be the guy. I want the most dependable guy…”

Enjoy that, Miami fans.  We sure did.

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Filed under Georgia Football