This is a pretty impassioned defense of a former boss.
I asked Bobo whether he thought the criticism was founded Richt receives for having not ever won a national championship at Georgia.
“Here’s what I say about that: I went to school there, I graduated from there, I’m an alumnus, I played football there, I have bled and sweat for that school and did everything I could to help it win, and there ain’t another man in the country I’d want coaching at the University of Georgia than Mark Richt,” Bobo said, his voice level rising. “His time’s gonna come. It’s gonna happen, OK, because he’s consistent, he does it the right way. He’s going to win. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. But at the end of the day, he’s going to be able to say, ‘I’ve done everything I possibly could – time, energy, resources – into trying to make Georgia a complete program that cares about kids.’
“Our biggest job is make sure these guys grow, not just as a football player, but as a person,” Bobo continued. When they walk out of school, they’re ready. They’re ready to walk out there and do what it takes to be successful. He does that better than anybody. There isn’t any guy I’d rather have there than him.”
But wait. There’s more.
“The misconception that makes me mad is that all he cares about, building men,” Bobo said. “People talk about how I’m competitive; I’m telling you, Mark Richt is just as competitive. We’d go on these trips as a coaching staff, Coach Richt is texting me first thing in the morning saying ‘what are we playing today?’ We’re not laying by the pool reading a book. We’re competing at something, cards, whatever, competing. When we’d play racquet ball at the Butts-Mehre, it was competition every day.
“He hates to lose. He is a competitive joker. That’s the thing that makes me mad. It’s a misconception that he’s trying to raise kids and make sure everybody feels good. That’s not how he is. … It’s not about making them feel good. It’s about making demands of them not just on the field, but off the field, teaching them right and wrong and how to be a responsible person. That’s tiring and taxing. But he’s never wavered from that.”
Like I said, impassioned. But I’m not sure it doesn’t really boil down to what Bobo claims it isn’t about – Richt caring about making sure his players walk out of the program ready to deal with life, more than anything. And that’s certainly admirable. But as a commenter here pointed out the other day, should that be enough in and of itself to keep the head coaching job at Georgia?
I wish Richt would go ahead and win a damn national title, just so we could quit having this conversation.