Can you believe that Mark Richt lasted nearly 14 full seasons as the head coach of an SEC school without ever winning a national title? Somehow, it’s true. But short of the ultimate goal, Richt accomplished an awful lot during his tenure at the University of Georgia, and while it may have been the right time for the school to let him go — sometimes you just need new blood — his track record of success and stability shot him to the top of many schools’ lists for their own head-coach openings, but not before the classiest goodbye to his players you can imagine:
Well, he wasn’t on those lists very long (we hope they didn’t waste the paper and just had a Google Doc or something), because on Friday he was announced as the new head coach at the University of Miami, just four days after being fired. Richt grew up in Boca Raton and was a quarterback at Miami, so this is very much the kind of homecoming that gives the school and fanbase the warm and fuzzies. Just look at him putting up the ‘U’ at his introductory press conference! Hundreds of Twitter accounts are now emblazoned with that image as their profile picture.
To introduce him, the university put together what essentially amounts to a video resume for Richt, including his impressive record against ACC opponents.
Miami’s sponsor, adidas, also was part of the welcome party with this very flattering drawing:
Good thing they don’t do PED tests on coaches, am I right?
Anyway, the love fest also included the subtlest of shade thrown at Georgia for firing him in all but name:
But most importantly, Richt also got down to some brass tacks. He talked about his defensive philosophy on day one, which was particularly endearing to SB Nation’s Hurricanes blog:
From what we can tell, what Miami fans crave most of all is to be taken seriously again. They’re not asking for a national title tomorrow (okay, some of them are but it is college football after all), but they do want the national profile (and the recruiting clout that comes with it) of a team that, much like Georgia, is in the mix for a conference title, with a little what-the-heck-if-the-dominos-fall-just-right thrown in for good measure. And Richt is a coach with a degree of national name recognition whose last two major running back recruits have been among the best the sport’s ever seen. So for today, everyone gets to be excited about Mark Richt, which hasn’t happened in a long while.