Richt has brought something more important than a BCS title to UGA

Mark Richt draws praise from outside the Bulldog Nation for the way he's handled recent events in Athens. (Associated Press)

Mark Richt draws praise from outside the Bulldog Nation for the way he's handled recent events in Athens. (Associated Press)

If you haven’t checked out MrSEC.com’s tribute to the kind of coach — and, more importantly, the kind of man — Mark Richt is, you definitely should. The headline sums it up pretty nicely: “RICHT CONTINUES TO SHOW THAT HE’S THE CLASS OF THE CONFERENCE.”

Knoxville-based John Pennington, who writes the blog, says that “for my money, there is no better representative of an SEC university than Georgia’s Mark Richt.”

Amen.

This testimonial from outside the Bulldog Nation is prompted by a couple of things. First, the restraint Richt showed in dealing with the media flap over incorrect claims that some of his football players had harassed a couple in an Athens taxi. As Pennington puts it: “Rather than bark about the media or point a finger at a writer, Richt kept his cool and discussed the dangers of rushing to judgment in our instant-media world.”

Drawing a comparison to Urban Meyer, Pennington notes: “There were no ‘we’d be going at it right now’ comments. No ‘be very careful’ warnings.”

And beyond the taxi affair, Pennington cites the way Richt handled the unfortunate need to dismiss Montez Robinson from his program after the linebacker used up all the second chances he’d been given. Rather than simply leave the former Bulldog in his wake, Richt visited him in jail and continued to try and counsel the troubled young man.

Says MrSEC: “Again, this kind of action shouldn’t surprise anyone. When linebacker Jamar Chaney was denied admission into UGA back in 2005, Richt helped convince Mississippi State’s Sylvester Croom to give Chaney a chance in Starkville. … ‘It didn’t surprise me at all that Coach Richt did what he did,’ Chaney said. ‘He’s a great man.’
”

Here the Richt detractors will say: Ah, but he hasn’t won a national championship. They would rather have someone along the lines of a Nick Saban or Meyer in Athens if it means a crystal football in the trophy case.

As if that’s the only criteria that matters in judging a college football coach.

Maybe in today’s results-oriented athletics scene, that puts Richt and UGA at a disadvantage. It’s easy to understand how 17- or 18-year-old kids coming out of high school might be more dazzled by BCS rings than repeated displays of character and stability.

I don’t agree with the way Richt does everything, but on the whole I’d rather have him as head coach than anyone else I can think of. And I happen to still think Richt can win a national championship at Georgia without turning into a ruthless, ego-driven jerk or an obsessive head case.

Still, even if that doesn’t prove to be the case, I’m glad he’s the way he is.

458 comments Add your comment

Richt's the Man

April 12th, 2010
9:36 am

Teaching Christian values to the team is much more important than wins and losses. UGA is very fortunate to have a coach with class and not lowlife like saban or meyer, who just care about wins.

BuLLdawg's Mom

April 12th, 2010
6:32 pm

Go take your medication and lie down.

Crimson Crush

April 13th, 2010
6:18 am

Hang in there BuLLdawg … like I said when you see people grasping at the flimsiest of straws trying to justify Richt … when they feel not just compelled but outright obligated to make an excuse for the one or two seasons max that he has left as the Georgia HC … you are close to the end .

The Kool Aid drinkers are squeezing the last remaining drops out of the jug when they start saying stuff like ” Who cares about wins … I want my an outstanding Christian teaching values ” … then they ignore an arrest list of players long enough to make the 1980s Miami program blush . He is toast . You know it .. I know it … anyone with a college football pulse knows it .

Reading the increasingly lame excuses by some of these “Dawg” fans for a man that obviously can’t produce good Christians OR a quality football program is pathetic . It is almost as bad as listening to the Vols when they were trying to pump up the Boy Wonder Kiffen then claiming all the laughter was because everyone else in the SEC was “jealous” …

NC Dawg

April 13th, 2010
8:31 am

Mark Richt is the best thing that has ever happened to UGA football. Best man in the game. Let’s don’t forget he is a winner of 2 titles in the toughest conference in America. I have had season tix every year since graduating UGA in 1995, and I am so proud of our head coach. Hope he stays forever and hope we are wise enough to make sure he stays forever. Thanks Coach Richt.

DawgVoiceofReason

April 14th, 2010
11:08 pm

BuLLdawg,

Misery, woe, sadness, despair, depression, agony, into the abyss, doom and gloom, glass half empty, hopeless, abandon all hope, cry, complain, whine, moan, misrepresent, skew, distort, fail to acknowledge, lack of perspective, pathetic, suicide, bombastic, know-it-all, holier-than-thou, pain, confused, hater, hateful, unforgiving, antithesis of a fan, sad, disturbing, never want to read or hear from again.

I associate these words with every one of your posts that I have ever read. There are probably other words I have left out, but even you should “get the picture” from this.

DawgVoiceofReason

April 14th, 2010
11:11 pm

Bill,

Thank you for the post.

I do appreciate Mark Richt and his approach to life and football. He is worthy of respect and admiration, and his approach will (and has) pay off.

TidePrideGA

April 15th, 2010
10:17 am

I certainly respect Mark Richt for his integrity and his character. I think he is a good coach who has elevated UGA to about as high as they will ever get in the college football world. Georgia has always been a perenial 8-4,-9-3 type program in the historical sense. I don’t know if he has what it takes to win the big one as a head coach, maybe he does, maybe not. But lets stop insulting each other and our schools. That does not help advance the conversation. Roll Tide!!!

Mr Me

April 18th, 2010
5:20 pm

Look at all the haters that come crawling out of their crappy blogs to comment and try to make up things about Richt to make him sound bad. Go back to your crappy blogs and talk about your “Great” coaches that only care about themselves and money.