Clemson’s Dabo Swinney was 1-1 against Mark Richt’s Georgia teams. The two might meet up more frequently in the ACC now that Richt is Miami’s coach, though the teams play in different divisions.
Either way, the Tigers coach took time at Tuesday’s Orange Bowl media day to praise Richt’s abilities and bemoan the kind of attitude that caused Georgia to move on this month from a proven winner.
“The only thing that ever happened at Georgia when he was there was a bunch of wins,” Swinney said. “To just measure people on national championships, we’re gonna all have a hard time measuring up to that.
“Mark Richt is as good a coach as I’ve ever seen. Miami is very lucky to have that guy. He’s gonna do an awesome job.
“I think fans get stale. Maybe they get tired of you and that’s OK. That’s everybody’s right. They pay for the tickets. They support the program. They have a right to get tired of you. All you can do is the best you possibly can and I don’t have any doubt that Mark Richt gave the University of Georgia every ounce of everything he had for years and brought them to a level of consistency they hadn’t seen in a long time.”
At 46, Swinney is nine years younger than Richt. The two coaches worked within a 75-minute drive of each other in Clemson, S.C., and Athens, Ga., and recruited many of the same players. This is a rivalry, and a mutual respect, that will only grow stronger now that both are in the ACC.