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

Title #14 in 2010!!!

April 8th, 2010
3:12 pm

Keep the class–that’s fine!!! Just win titles baby! Saban’s bringing #14 home to T-Town in 2010—mark it down!!! The Tide is loaded again and will beat Florida easily in the SEC title game, again and then roll over Oklahoma in the BCS title game. It’s hard to be humble as a Bama fan!!!!!!!!!!!

kevin

April 8th, 2010
3:13 pm

UF will not make the title game this year. They lost a ton of folks this past year. It will be UGA vs. Bama in the title game.

CamdenDawggirl

April 8th, 2010
3:14 pm

Thats loser talk. We need a crystal.

socal dawg

April 8th, 2010
3:15 pm

Richt’s legacy will be cemented by his character, not his win-loss record. Dean Smith would have still been a great coach and life mentor without the Natl Championships. So will Richt- Here’s hoping he gets blessed with one.

#1 Lifelong UGA Fan

April 8th, 2010
3:15 pm

Thank you for putting into words, what I have been trying to say all along! UGA has the fortune of having the BEST there is !

Gratefuldawghead

April 8th, 2010
3:17 pm

Tide #14 in 2010…. Bama lost like 8 starters from the Defense. The defense was the key to Bama’s success.

Dorsey Hill

April 8th, 2010
3:19 pm

What does “after his 2nd arrest he was gone from the team” mean to you? I read that to mean that his career was over at Bammer U. which clearly it wasn’t. So what did poor David Palmer actual suffer at the hands of Gene when he got his 2nd DUI right after coming off of his suspension? When do you “indefinite” quit being indefinite? Well, as you suggested, I did look it up. Palmer was “indefinitely” suspended on Sept. 8th and reinstated on September 24th. So yes you were right he was “gone from the team” for 15 days. Hell of a tough guy that Stallings.

ESTHER

April 8th, 2010
3:19 pm

I’ve got class our whole family has class.

DeafGary

April 8th, 2010
3:21 pm

What I’ve always admired about Mark Richt is this: He will not boast.
After a win, he praises the Lord (first, always!!), his coaching staff, his players, the fans…even the other teams’ play.
He never boasts of his gameplan or his coaching ability.

That, when compared to the other coaches, is what makes him stand out, in my mind.
It’s probably also what makes the liberals, in the nation, hate him so much!!

fire mike adams!!

April 8th, 2010
3:22 pm

i think we should fire mike adams and elect/appoint richt president of the university. and if you dont agree w/me, think about this…could it possibly get any worse if the best looking, classiest, most down-to-earth coach in the country ran uga? didnt think so.

ga gator

April 8th, 2010
3:27 pm

kevin, sorry to disappoint you but we lost about the same as you on Defense and will be more explosive on offense.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
3:28 pm

DeafGary,

I am not sure what being liberal have to do with anything. I am a liberal and I generally like Mark Richt–as he seems nice and is a good coach. What I do not like are people who think that their being religious makes them better than other people or gives them the right to hold oppressive opinions. And I think thanking the Lord for football game wins is akin to thanking the tooth fairy for the money under your pillow. My mom put the money there. Coaches and players win games.

ReptilesRule

April 8th, 2010
3:29 pm

Also, I never said Richt doesn’t care for his players as much as Meyer. But SHOWING it is KNOWING it especially for a young person. Just think about your kids or when you were young and why it is so necessary to SHOW your care and concern, not by just saying it but with actions. Just saying it was not enough. The emotive part and interactions such as hugging them and putting your arm around them or a pat on the back have to be there as well. Of course, as you get older, you understand and it goes without saying. You KNOW your mother loves you even if you live far away and only get to see her a few times a year. Life and experience teach you those things. But when you’re young, it’s all about the emotional actions and being demonstrative. Remember young love??? Hope in some kind of round about way, I’ve made my point.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
3:30 pm

Ga Gator, We have every returning starter on offense sans our thoroughly mediocre QB from last year. You won’t be more explosive on offense. Hard to tell with defense on either side, but from what I have read regarding Grantham’s response in Athens, I think we will be more than fine this year.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
3:31 pm

“Remember Young Love”–Is that a reference to Urban’s recent crush on Tebow?

Title #14 in 2010!!!

April 8th, 2010
3:34 pm

Actually, the Tide’s losing 9 starters—but Saban’s a defensive genius and has reloaded the D with more superstars. This D may actually be better than last year and the O will be better with more experience!!! Another 14-0 season, on the way!!!! Take it to the bank!

YELLOW HAMMER

April 8th, 2010
3:35 pm

greatfulheaddawg or whatever…… bama’s defense will be better in ”10 mark it down, bigger, faster ,stronger….

PowerDawg

April 8th, 2010
3:37 pm

Man, do I love the way you subtly compared him to Narcissistic Nick and Unhinged Urban!

Bill, I have sometimes taken issue with some of your comments and opinions, but you hit this nail on the head!

We are going to see a better Bulldog football team on the field this year, I truly believe it. There will be some growing pains, especially defensively, but we will be better than last year.

Any you’re also right about something else, too. Richt is going to win us our first BCS title.

And it will be soon, very soon.

GooseDawg

April 8th, 2010
3:37 pm

Cantondawg,

100% agree w/your post–CMR’s biggest mistake was indeed promoting his pal Willie Martinez to DC & then being at least 1 year too late in correcting his mistake in judgement. Heck, I’ll even admit that early in his tenure at UGA his “clock-management” was terrible & as of today, I’d still like to see him improve in that aspect but otherwise, I know that CMR has done a great job in Athens & I remain convicted that he will one day bring that elusive NC back to Athens if the rabid & shortsighted minority don’t run him out of town first!

CMR is a man of character & integrity & he has a terrific track record as a head coach (one of the best EVER in his first 9 years). Plus, w/the positive additions to the defensive coaching staff, I expect the CMR bashers will have plenty of crow to eat when CMR is bringing SEC titles to Athens long after ol’ Nick has left for greener pastures & ol’ Urban has followed his confused heart & becomes Tebow’s full-time personal attendant. Regardless, is CMR a perfect man, NO, is CMR a perfect football coach, NO, does CMR represent UGA in a manner that us Dawg fans can take pride in, well, even a few CLASSY posters from our biggest rivals have stated they agree with those sentiments and getting compliments from the enemy is one of the best compliments of all!

Speaking of complimenting enemies, I will go on the record & say that heck yeah, I truly think that both Saban & Meyer are great football coaches, (can’t say the same about Les Miles even though & he HAS won a BcS trophy), but like the original article stated (you know the article by Mr. SEC that hardly anybody that is commenting here took the time to read) if I had a son about to play SEC football, I’d have no reservations whatsoever about putting him in the care of CMR because “CMR is more than just a man that you want your son to PLAY for, CMR is a man that you want your son to BE like.”

GATA Coach Richt!

spokesman of spokesman

April 8th, 2010
3:40 pm

kevin you guys are so obsessed with tebow love. i guess it goes along with having a mascot who loves to clean himself in front of others.

ga gator

April 8th, 2010
3:40 pm

kevin, only one thing to say son; Ron Zook vs Mark Richt

ReptilesRule

April 8th, 2010
3:43 pm

socal dawg…have to disagree about Dean Smith a bit. Yes, he would have been remembered as a class guy and a great mentor if he had not won the National Campionships, but his accomplishments on the court is what cemented that legacy… Instead of being remembered as just one of the great coaches with something missing, one who did everything but win the big one. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with being a class guy or a nice guy, I can only hope that within my own little sphere of life that I am thought of that way by people who know me. But in the end, if you are a leader or coach or a businessman whatever… you are remembered foremost for your accomplishments.

Blackberry Cobbler

April 8th, 2010
3:46 pm

CMR is getting a longer leash because of his class. He, in fact is a great guy and a class act. There’s no denying that.

But the leash is going to eventually turn into a noose if he doesn’t win the SEC and compete for the NC. I like that he’s a nice guy and for that many are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

But the program has deteriorated under his watch and he’ll be a goner in 2 years if things don’t improve. I know it, he knows it, we all know it.

Pass the Kool-Aid please.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
3:54 pm

Spokesman,

That’s the 2nd time you mentioned the mascot licking itself bit. Perhaps you’ve run out of things to say. Actually that’s somewhat surprising since you’ve come up with 6 names you comment under.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
3:54 pm

Ga Gator,

Not sure I get the Zook vs Richt bit.

Tide Rising

April 8th, 2010
3:58 pm

Title #14 coming,

Tone it down a bit and just try for a little humility. I’m excited about the 2010 season as well and like you I think our D will be even better, certainly more athletic and more physical than last year. But to start stating that we will beat Florida “easily” and then just roll through another unbeaten season on the way to another title is way premature and way too haughty. Not to mention a little crazy.

Florida had all 11 defensive starters back and 19 of the top 22 this past year and still didn’t repeat Repeating is that hard and our last 6 sec games will be against teams that all have a bye week before playing us which gives all 6 of them a huge advantage in terms of preparation, rest, and mental focus. We could be a better team than last year and still end up losing 1 or 2 games against a very tough and disadvantageous schedule. And don’t ever count out the gators just cause we won the game last year. They are deep, talented, Meyer is resilient, and they landed a monster freshman class that may be the greatest freshman class ever assembled.

Your enthusiasm is great but we have a long way too go and like you I’m excited given the returning talent on D that has played a lot of snaps. But slow down the trash talking. A 14-0 record and another national title is nowhere near the cakewalk you seem to think it is.

tw3a

April 8th, 2010
4:00 pm

AWESOME story……

Me

April 8th, 2010
4:03 pm

Being classy and nice is all well and good but it doesn’t constitute a lasting legacy. A football coach is not a diplomat to the UN but even a diplomat has to be undiplomatic at times in order to get things done. And as a football coach, well there’s nothing wrong with being classy and nice but without the rings then that’s all you are…a classy and nice coach . And if that is enough to make some of you fans happy with the program, then good for you!!

bigdawg

April 8th, 2010
4:03 pm

blackberry, you have no base in facts to state that the program has deteriorated under Richt.

are you aware that UGA never even played for an SEC title throughout the 90’s and under Richt they have been to 3 and won 2

in the 90’s the Dawgs never went to a Sugar bowl or any other now-BCS bowl. under Richt-3 trips, 2 wins

from 2001-2007 only LSU won as many games as UGA in ALL of college football (look that up if you want)

and under Richt UGA has a winning record over every SEC school except Florida (try that one too) as well as going 8-1 against Tech.

get some facts together before you blindly post

character will equate to titles when given time

it took Dooley 15 years to win a title and that was without the BCS making it nearly impossible to do it without going perfect. Richt has only had 9

he is one of only 5 coaches in SEC history to win 2 SEC titles in his first 5 years

would you like me to keep going or do you see how dumb you statement was now…

ga gator

April 8th, 2010
4:06 pm

kevin Zook was 2-1 against richt without tebow, spikes, dunlap, etc. We are not worried this year either.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
4:11 pm

ga gator,

If I were UF, I would not be afraid either. Hell, no question you’ve owned us nearly every year for 15 years. Just trying to remain optimistic…

mighty kc

April 8th, 2010
4:11 pm

“Always choose a coach with class over championships. Championships will come and go. The legacy behind a man with class will last forever.”

um, WRONG. trophies and banners and rings are forever…coaches w/ class are usually talked about/described as ‘having class’ because they aren’t ‘winning’. and so they DO NOT last forever, they eventually get fired.

saban and meyer might be called “jerks” but they care about their players…who cares if they bristle the media?

Tide Rising

April 8th, 2010
4:13 pm

Dorsey Hill and Dorsey detractor,

Here is what happened with David Palmer. He was arrested for DUI and it was in this initial DUI that he had an accident and he was put on indefinite suspension and missed the Vandy game. The night of the Vandy game he then was cited for speeding past another local nightclub and given another DUI. After that Stallings booted him off the team for 3 games and then reinstated him after he had completed alcohol rehab and intensive counseling. It was Stalling’s feeling at the time that he needed more help than punishment.

Dorsey, he was in fact suspended for several games after the 2nd DUI. The assertion that he played immediately after a 2nd DUI arrest is simply not true. It should also be noted that this was 1993. Culturally we are far more intolerant of DUIs today then we were 17 years ago. There is much more awareness in the last 10 years or so then in the early 90s when DUI wasn’t seen quite as seriously as it is seen today.

Today a 2nd DUI under Saban would probably warrant a dismissal from the team. Saban has forced starters off the team such as Brandon Fanney and Prince Hall for simply breaking team rules. Imagine what he would do if a player got a DUI much less a 2nd DUI.

robert

April 8th, 2010
4:14 pm

If you can’t even beat the village idiot(zook) how is he going to fare better against meyer and saban. When people start talking about how nice of a guy the coach is its time to worry because your not winning championships people hate a winner thats not them

Steve Spurrier

April 8th, 2010
4:15 pm

Respect Richt immensely. Good man.

Jennifer has a point

April 8th, 2010
4:19 pm

Jennifer may have hit the nail on the head. CMR may indeed be classy but his teams certainly do not reflect “class”.

This is a team that in addition to the endzone celebration had several other personal fouls in the first half alone in that game. They also danced on the sidelines taunting the AU players during a romp over Auburn and its a fair statement to say Georgia either led the conference or was in the top 2 or 3 in personal fouls over the last few years.

As for off the field antics the dogs have either led or been 2nd in the conference the last couple years in number of player arrests and player citations with the police. I don’t think even the most ardent dawg fans would dispute that.

Richt may be a classy guy but it certainly doesn’t extend to his football team.

ReptilesRule

April 8th, 2010
4:22 pm

Tide Rising…Good perspective. I can understand why Tide fans would be overenthused and perhaps even overconfident because that’s the way I would describe Gator Nation last year, for all the reasons you pointed out. Bama will certainly be favored this year and rightfully so. But there are so many potholes in the road, so many potential twists and turns that even a team like Bama and indeed mighty UF of last year can go down on any given Saturday. With that being said, I would expect Bama to have much continued success and to meet up with Florida in December yet a few more times in the near future…

TallaDawg92

April 8th, 2010
4:24 pm

Jennifer @ 11:19 am does not understand the importance of class and she wears jean shorts.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
4:24 pm

Seriously still harping on the endzone celebration. Harping on the endzone celebration is less classy than the endzone celebration, itself.

I tell you what else is classy. Nothing says class like referencing Bible verses on your face and running up and down the sidelines like a lunatic screaming and flailing your arms. Give me a break.

nah

April 8th, 2010
4:25 pm

2nd rate coach at a bush-league school. Loser Coach for Loser Fans.

And now Kevin has a point

April 8th, 2010
4:28 pm

Good point Kevin,

And now Jennifer would probably respond and mention the Georgia players stomping on the Vandy logo in celebration over beating Vandy of all people. Who stomps on the logo of Vandy after beating them anyhow? Good grief! Its Vandy! What up with dat?

ga gator

April 8th, 2010
4:31 pm

Equal respect Kevin my man. It appears that Tiger is still as good at golf as his other sport.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
4:33 pm

Nice Ga Gator.

Tide Rising

April 8th, 2010
4:38 pm

Reptiles Rule,

I pretty much learned from you guys last year that no team is invincible since I was one of those people that didn’t think anybody including us could beat UF last year. Other great teams like USC in 2005, Miami in 2002 going for a repeat, there have been a lot of great teams that people have thought couldn’t be beaten and voila. They lose.

We pick up you guys and Penn State so our schedule this year will be even more challenging not to mention the last 6 sec games after you guys will be played against bye rested opponents. But I’m still hoping for a rematch against you guys should we lose in the regular season and another classic game like the 2008 game or the ones we used to play against UF in the 90s. Several of those including the 24-23 game were classics.

ga gator

April 8th, 2010
4:40 pm

Tide Rising, being preseason #1 like the Tide will be in 2010 is more of a burden than anyone can imagine; just ask UGA in 08 and us in 09. I was worn out once the season was over and cant imagine what it was like for those actually involved.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
4:42 pm

Celebrating Vandy was a bit much. I agree. But, I do not think it reflects having class or not having class. A legitimate and healthy part of sports is celebrating…people have danced on the Georgia G before and I never thought, “Man, those guys are classless”. Just a little healthy taunting.

kevin

April 8th, 2010
4:43 pm

While flattering, starting off the season #1 was no fun. Nowhere to go but down…

ga gator

April 8th, 2010
4:48 pm

Being #1 and having that zero target on you all season is murder. But I guess if the choice was between having the target on you or not being in the conversation, well then I guess being #1 will do. I’m glad we wont have it this year.

ga gator

April 8th, 2010
4:51 pm

Its a lot more fun talking subjects than trash. See you guys later.

HHewitt

April 8th, 2010
4:53 pm

I have to laugh that, since the dogs cannot win a national championship, the fans have to be happy they have a “nice” coach. They will realize that it takes more than a nice coach to win a NC and as long as they are happy with what they got, they will get what they get. No NC and maybe 3rd or 4th in the division. How low have the dogs fans sunk……