Mark Richt joins the “U”

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Updated: December 4, 2015

It didn’t take the University of Miami long to fill their coaching vacancy, coming to terms with Mark Richt just days after he had been unceremoniously let go by the suits at Georgia.

Outside of Kirby Smart and maybe Will Muschamp, Richt was the name out on the market with the most buzz. It is a homecoming of sorts, as Richt famously served as backup QB to Jim Kelly for the Hurricanes in the early 80’s.

While getting over my initial disappointment that Butch Davis wasn’t brought back for a second run with the program (would’ve been the perfect setup for a “The U Part 3” doc in a couple of years), Richt makes more sense on a number of levels. The 55-year-old is about nine years younger than Butch, giving him a presumed longer shelf lift in the profession. And while Davis has been out of coaching since 2010, Richt has been in the throes of SEC competition this entire time, compiling 145 wins over the last 15 seasons.

The name of the game in college football is recruiting, and Richt’s track record coupled with the name recognition of Miami will likely produce some top-notch classes in no time. During his tenure at Georgia, from 2002-2015 the Bulldogs had recruiting classes that were ranked in the top ten every year with the exception of two. The guy can reel them in, and judging from his opening press conference he plans to take full advantage of the athletic resources present in the State of Florida, which he called “one of the most fertile recruiting areas in the United States of America”.

One of the criticisms of Richt is that despite all of the talented players he coached while at Georgia, they could never seem to get over the hump and routinely beat the Florida’s and Alabama’s of the Conference in order to compete for national titles. You could pretty much pencil them in for ten wins a year, but also could count on a few hiccups along the way. Leaving Nick Saban and the SEC behind and joining a conference that has been historically not as strong might be just what Richt needs in order to take a team to the next level.

We will soon find out.

 

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