Mark Richt’s name doesn’t come up as often as some others when people list candidates for the Miami Hurricanes coaching job, but maybe it should.
Richt, once a quarterback at Boca Raton High School as well as at UM, may be in some real job jeopardy at Georgia.
Last Saturday’s 27-3 loss to Florida left a lot of boosters sore over a lack of competitiveness against the best teams in the SEC, not to mention the necessity of having to drill down to the third string just to find a workable quarterback. The loudest of the critics is Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, quarterback of Georgia’s 1959 SEC championship team.
Appearing on Atlanta radio station WCNN this week, Tarkenton called the loss to Florida “a total disgrace” and offered the kind of support for Richt that can be interpreted as wavering at best.
“As long as Mark Richt is the coach, I support Mark Richt,” Tarkenton said, “but I think there are discussions going on.
“People are evaluating things. I imagine Mark is evaluating things, but this is not a good situation. It’s a bad situation at my alma mater.”
Richt is one of the finest men you could ever meet and a very good coach. His career record of 141-51 at Georgia with two SEC titles will back that up.
It might just be that 14 years at any one school begins to wear on everybody involved. Even the most successful coaches get tired of the grumbling from boosters who want to win everything all the time.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick Saban’s nine-year run at Alabama isn’t nearing an end. Remember, too, how Steve Spurrier resigned at Florida without prodding in early 2002, saying “I simply believe that 12 years as head coach at a major university in the SEC is long enough.”
Miami would do well to get Richt as head coach should he become available. He was the top playcaller who everybody figured would follow Bobby Bowden at Florida State, remember, but Georgia got to him first.
A fresh start at his alma mater might look pretty good to Richt right about now, though a strong finish against Kentucky, Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech could still get the Bulldogs to 9-3 and that might just settle things down again.