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

yellow ears

April 8th, 2010
12:56 pm

the whole you can’t be classy and win the championship thing is dumb.

Jim Tressel. Tony Dungy. Mark Richt.

Sure, you can choose to be like Urban Meyer or Saban, but you don’t HAVE to be to win.

Those guys burn bridges pretty fast, and leave in less than 5 or 6 years.

Richt’s outlasted Meyer and Saban in the SEC here. Neither has stayed at 1 school this long.

Dorsey Hill

April 8th, 2010
12:56 pm

A couple of things: I haven’t looked at all of the comments but I am glad to see that the negative ones are not from Georgia fans. While there will be a noisy contigent of fans who are only focused on wins and losses, the vast majority of our fans are more interested in wins being a by-product of doing things the right way. In life you can do all sorts of things the wrong way to get ahead and many do. Personally, I’d rather lose every game for the rest of my life than to have a coach like Bobby Knight or have a coach that ran a program like Jimmy Johnson did at Miami or Switzer did at OU. So for those out there who say that in our hearts we’d rather have Saban, you’re wrong. We don’t. We want the guy we have and you can keep yours.

Now for those who say that CMR is like Bowden with respect to discipline, while there is no question but that we have had far too many off-field incidents. However, those incidents have always met with severe discipline. Its not like these guys think they can get away with it because they don’t. Bobby played guys who got arrested that week. Gene Stallings at Alabama played David Palmer the week after getting a DUI driving a 100+ and running over the back of the vehicle in front of him. And Palmer had just come off of a suspension for DUI. Every Georgia player who gets arrested (but for trafiic infractions) either gets a one or two game suspension and its the next one or two games. There is no waiting for SSW Montana to show up on the schedule. Repeat offenders, and even first time serious offenders, are removed from the program or miss half the season. If you can find an exception, go for it, you won’t find it.

For those who claim that the program is mired in mediocrity, the numbers just don’t bear that out at all. In the past decade, UGA had the 3rd most wins total and the 3rd most conference wins and Richt is 3rd in winning percentange among active coaches. Those of you who think that this program is in decline or stuck are going to be very surprised come this fall. Get prepared to watch the Bulldogs in the SEECG, because we will be there.

Go Wildcats!

April 8th, 2010
12:57 pm

Kentucky 34 UGA 27

Vandy 24 UGA 22

Kentucky 24 UGA 20

Jordan

April 8th, 2010
12:57 pm

Well I am going to repeat what has been said over and over again. I would take Richt over Saban and Meyer any day. I think he and a few other coaches in the NCAA are very classy. Richt, Mack Brown, and few others. To me I like the idea of a coach who does not have raise his voice at reporters or shown yelling at all costs to refs or players throughout a game. I would rather have a player, and look at it for that matter if your son, were to go play for a man to learn life long lessons of character, respect, morality, and other lessons that I see from Richt than I do other coaches. Yeah a ring would be great, and to hoist up that crystal ball, but in the long run, I would rather be remembered by the peopel around me for those things I just listed than just a national championship football winner.
I won’t get into the idea of class because whoever said it was right, class is defined by different people and standards, but I think CMR is one classy guy, and otehr coaches should look to him to not replicate fully but take some of his qualities and use them for their team.
In terms of the arrests, on-field penalites and etc. CMR is going to have the team more disciplined through the hiring of CTG, CWB, and CSL. It might not happen this year, but it will happen. And also, these kids are in college, and people are going to make mistakes, and the arrests suck for any team, but how you get over them is what defines and a coach, and CMR, as well as most coaches in the NCAA do that. It might result in losing a player, or suspension for games, but the coaches have to follow protocol and arguing that one team is a bunch of thugs, is pointless, because everyone will say that about every team, if an arrest is made.
On a lighter side, CMR cool demeanor and tempo of coaching hasn’t made him want to take time off because of stress and health factors, and think about taking a leave of abscence. LOL sorry, Dawg fan has to poke fun at the UF.
Great man, great leader, great Christian values to help others, and one great coach. Go Dawgs!

Vandy and Kentucky

April 8th, 2010
12:58 pm

Dorsey, what first time offenders removed? Robinson was 3 time. But hey who am I? Keep him as long as he wants the job.

Vandy and Kentucky

April 8th, 2010
1:00 pm

Jordan, long post, short reply: too bad those values dont filter down to the thugs playing for him.

A Bama man but a Mark Richt fan

April 8th, 2010
1:00 pm

Mark Richt has won two SEC titles and averages ten wins per year. Only a moron (Jennifer) would think he’s not a good guy. The AJC message boards seem to attract a lot of bottom feeders. Richt is 3-1 vs the Tide. With a couple of breaks he could have played for two NC’s. Bear was 20-13-1 from 68-70. I guess he was a mediocre coach too. He rebounded pretty good. Richt has made some changes to his staff and with the talent at Georgia folks would be pretty stupid to sell them short. I think they will be dangerous in the next few years. Roll Tide!!

UGAAlumnus

April 8th, 2010
1:01 pm

You know what, Coach Richt does seem to be a good guy and I’m really glad he visited our “jailed” ex-team member.

But, he’s also a great coach. All these people commenting on here about “class doesn’t win ball games”. Coach Richt has won more games at UGA in the last 10 years than pretty much any other coach in the nation. He’s at the top with WINS.

Go Dawgs!

Minnesota Dawg

April 8th, 2010
1:01 pm

Dorsey HIll, come on brother!!

Bob

April 8th, 2010
1:03 pm

“Those guys burn bridges pretty fast, and leave in less than 5 or 6 years.”

Shame on that evil Urban from climbing the ladder in his profession!

Georgia Fan

April 8th, 2010
1:04 pm

Vandy and Kentucky = humper hater = Spokesman

The Ol Bawl Coach

April 8th, 2010
1:05 pm

The only job that Saban would leave for would be the Dallas Cowboys and Urban, the New England Patriots.

Vandy and Kentucky

April 8th, 2010
1:06 pm

Nice try but no cigar Georgia fan.

Vandy and Kentucky

April 8th, 2010
1:06 pm

Georgia Fan=Fan of second rate program

Vandy and Kentucky

April 8th, 2010
1:08 pm

Leaving to watch masters all of you lovers AND haters.

aj dawgs

April 8th, 2010
1:09 pm

like I said, you measure a man by his critics, and it’s 3 pages of criticism so far, so that tells you how great coach richt really is.

Humper Hater

April 8th, 2010
1:10 pm

Or it shows how much we hate delusional dogs aj.

Reverend Richt-er

April 8th, 2010
1:11 pm

Give me a break! Richt’s fake as hell. Try looking at your total arrest record since his reign started- it’s laughable.

Dosta Dawg

April 8th, 2010
1:13 pm

How could a Florida Fan even say anything about class at all? From Urban to their players (poking eyes etc), no class what’s so ever. But they win, is that all that matters? Tebow has good character and that took the spotlight off of the others misdeeds.

P.S. Jean Shorts are the total opposite of classy

fishtales

April 8th, 2010
1:14 pm

This is what happens when you go 30 years without a title…denial and rationalization. You keep telling yourself it doesn’t matter Dawg fans. Meanwhile the rest of the SEC powers will keep focusing on the task at hand. He’s a football coach…not a guidance counselor. You play to win the game.

Humper Hater

April 8th, 2010
1:15 pm

So is cleaning yourself in front of 90,000 fans Dosta Dawg.

HOUDAWG

April 8th, 2010
1:15 pm

To Jennifer & others that took this opportunity to slam ……..

You are simply pathetic & small minded ……… you have no clue what class even means !

Your responses validate as much …….

kevin

April 8th, 2010
1:15 pm

Vandy and Kentucky, Humper Hater and Spokesman,

Don’t you have some sort of foam weapons to build for you upcoming LARP excursion. What is wrong with you?

aj dawgs

April 8th, 2010
1:15 pm

Jesus never won a National Championship, he’s a decent guy.

Humper Hater

April 8th, 2010
1:16 pm

aj dawgs, he was the best because he didn’t charge 4 million to do it.

aj dawgs

April 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

Enron proved that getting to the top is not what counts.

#1 BAMA FAN

April 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

I think Coach Saban has enough money, but if not BAMA will be willing to pay him whatever he needs. Coach SABAN wins by putting in endless hours and covers every detail. He has learned his craft from some of the best and usually when you are the best, you have many “haters”. I would like to hear some of the documented cases of selling his soul and ruining kids life that are mentioned daily. I am a Christian and I respect the man Mark Richt is but Coach Saban should not be a reason he does not win the “big ones”. RTR

aj dawgs

April 8th, 2010
1:18 pm

Do you think the way Saban and Meyer have left so many teams is classy? I don’t. I’d rather have richt, with whatever faults he has.

aj dawgs

April 8th, 2010
1:18 pm

Is winning a National Championship the way you measure whether a man is a success?

aj dawgs

April 8th, 2010
1:19 pm

If winning a National Championship is all that counts, why are you on this blog, and not on one about a coach who’s a “winner”?

Why are you wasting your time?

Minnesota Dawg

April 8th, 2010
1:20 pm

fishtales, you live in a world that’s not real. Hope you wake up one day before it’s too late. We love to win and sure do hope we win. We are not giving in to not winning. We get fired up with loosing just as much as you do. Who do you pull for in the SEC?

Humper Hater

April 8th, 2010
1:23 pm

You know what, you have changed my mind. CMR is the greatest and I hope he remains your coach forever. Paying him all that money to build men is more important than winning championships.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
1:24 pm

Montez,

Your joke is unoriginal, obvious and thanks to multiple posts, incredibly played out. It’s the kind of thing I found funny when I was 13.

Have fun with puberty.

Bob

April 8th, 2010
1:25 pm

So Meyer was suppose to stay at UTAH in a 6th tier conference and turn down the Florida job in the 1st tier conference?

Dosta Dawg

April 8th, 2010
1:25 pm

Class, coming on a rival teams blog to dispute a nice news article.

fishtales

April 8th, 2010
1:25 pm

Thanks for setting me straight Minnesota. Boy, what a reality check…seriously thanks. I’m a Bama fan. Yes, I want my team to win every game but understand that it’s not always possible. I also don’t think that being driven to win like Saban is makes him all the things Dawg fans like to call him…i.e. cheater, classless, etc. Do you know the man? All of his current and former players speak extremely high of him. Parents of recruits whose living rooms he sits in obviously trust him enough to send their children to him. Don’t get me wrong, I think Richt is a great coach…but don’t erroneously tear down others just to try and put him in a saintly light.

JOE

April 8th, 2010
1:26 pm

I don’t understand. I never recall anybody anywhere saying anything negative about Mark Richt as a person. He’s a great person for all intents and purposes. What the Hell is the point of this article?

Spokesman for the Spokesman

April 8th, 2010
1:27 pm

Please understand, we love Mark Richt and Georgia.

B. Scott

April 8th, 2010
1:32 pm

Amen to that! Thank you Coach Richt! GO DAWGS!!!

kevin

April 8th, 2010
1:34 pm

Spokesman,

Please understand that your commitment to leaving comments on this blog will have an adverse effect on your D & D skills.

Ginger

April 8th, 2010
1:36 pm

Agree…Glad he is the man that he is and a great coach…There are things more important that football. So glad that he visited Montez and I bet will continue to try and help him.

Dawg 39

April 8th, 2010
1:36 pm

My final on It. I had a series of Email correspondence with Lowe when he was with ESPN about that 2 or 3 years ago. I was told ESPN had someone who had a grudge against the Dawgs. I Checked it out & could not determine who it was since several seemed to be guilty. In 2007 ESPN did everything they could to keep the Dawgs out of the NCG. They influence a lot of the voters & Holtz, May, Herbie & CO. are obviously not fans of CMR or the Dawgs. Some fans agree with me & some don’t. I know I do not have an inferiority complex. Check It out.

McDawg

April 8th, 2010
1:39 pm

can’t wait for football to start

Georgia Fan

April 8th, 2010
1:41 pm

Bill — maybe the last one was a little too far but you let montez posts remain? BS.

AltamahaDawg

April 8th, 2010
1:41 pm

Anybody with a pulse prefers to winning games over losing. And any college football fans that claims that they wouldn’t love for thier team to win the NC is a lair. But here is the problem with the NC (aside from the BCS format): if THAT is all you care about then the next year you are almost assured to be the miserable SOB that you were before. You have to be just a tad deeper than that.

As far as programs and fans, there are plenty of others just are capable and deserving with the same desire. And Richt NOT winning a NC being his knock, that’s about as complimentary as it is incriminating. If he wasn’t capable, why does anybody even bother to point it out. I also wonder if many of the Georgia fans realize that these really high standards of thiers that he can’t fulfill, because HE is the only reason that you suddenly always had them. Certainly wasn’t from the 20 yrs before. I dont know how a couple of you guys didnt wind up at the bottom of the lake during the decades in the past, the way you carry on now.

Now about all this hero worship of Saban. Somebody said they would rather have him. Ok, cool, Come back in about 10 yrs, because thats how long of a headstart he had to get where Richt is now. Before Richt had his first Grad Assist job, Saban had already coached at 7 different places. Saban was in his 3rd year at his third HC job before he had a year that got him a NC. (same kind of year Richt had in his second year ever, but thats another argument). OH yea, and a 4 yr stink in the NFL before that.

I find it funny how being the DC at Cleveland is supposed to be this dig at Grantham. I doubt Saban would agree. Of cource all you Saban expert didnt even realize that.

No now comes his 4th HC job at his second SEC school, 2 NFL posts, 10th program. You know , I think he might know a thing or two. He is without a doubt a better prepared, more expereinced, and overall just better coach than Mark Richt today. (And he will lose just as many games over his career as they all do….1 out of every 5 games)

So here is the question, do you want to throw away the learning curve we have invested in Richt to go chase the next hero of the day, or just be happy he is already a decade ahead of where he should be?

Meyers is just a phenom. Personally I believe his days are numbered in jortsville, but really hasn’t UF always been a school that goes for the shooting stars, and UGA always been looking to be more of the long term overall success engine? Just seems like the personalities are ingrained. Nobody is holding a gun to anybodies head to be a fan of either one.

McDawg

April 8th, 2010
1:43 pm

don’t get the hate Saban thing-b/c he left LSU?? he had tough physical teams at MSU , LSU, and BAMA-that is how you win in college ball

only reason he doesn’t smile is b/c he has dentures

Spokesman for the Spokesman of the Spokesman

April 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

AltamahaDawg, that was long but still quite ill. Since when was Goff and Donnan long term? They lost to UF and that did them in. But even Donnan had a better winning percentage against UF than Markie boy.

Dorsey Hill

April 8th, 2010
1:48 pm

Vandy and Kentucky,

Your answer is Michael Lemon.

THE TRUTH

April 8th, 2010
1:49 pm

RICHT is a coach every mother wants her kid to play for…………SABAN is a coach every father wants his son to play for….. = UGA—- mama’s boys

DawgGirl32

April 8th, 2010
1:50 pm

Are the Gator fans STILL talking about the endzone dance? Soooo pathetic. Get a life.