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

SickandTired

April 9th, 2010
7:34 am

This article and string of responses is living proof why Georgia can never, ever hope to measure up with the great football programs in america. Sad, Mark Richt “may” be a good man. Truth is, we don’t know what goes on after he leaves the football field really and truly. If u don’t believe it, see Tiger Woods. Never a champion head coach, Mark Richt has begun to be the poster child for underachiever.
Georgia:the Wisconsin of the SEC
Georgia: Deserves better

RedAndBlack

April 9th, 2010
8:03 am

CMR’s priorities are God, family, and everything else. His principles and values shine through his character day in and day out. It’s not the ring, the money, or fame that is at the center of his life. Those things you will never take to your grave. But leaving a legacy and having an impact to the people around him is what matters to him behind serving God. I would rather have CMR coach my child than anyone else in this country. If not a NC ring, my child would leave with great principles and character and have higher standards to impact other people’s lives.

CMR’s priorities are God, family, and everything else. His principles and values shine through his character day in and day out. It’s not the ring, the money, or fame that is at the center of his life. Those things you will never take to your grave. But leaving a legacy and having an impact to the people around him is what matters to him behind serving God. I would rather have CMR coach my child than anyone else in this country. If not a NC ring, my child would leave with great principles and character and have higher standards to impact other people’s lives.

CMR’s priorities are God, family, and everything else. His principles and values shine through his character day in and day out. It’s not the ring, the money, or fame that is at the center of his life. Those things you will never take to your grave. But leaving a legacy and having an impact to the people around him is what matters to him behind serving God. I would rather have CMR coach my child than anyone else in this country. If not a NC ring, my child would leave with great principles and character and have higher standards to impact other people’s lives.

Twilb Dawg

April 9th, 2010
8:09 am

Coach Richt is a great man! I am honored to have him at my University!

GO DAWGS!!
Twilb Dawg ‘01

TCDawg

April 9th, 2010
8:41 am

With all the talk about the Crystal Ball, National Championship, etc., to me it lacks character and integrity with the way it is decided who plays in the game. We could have already won it a couple times with a little luck. So, I’ll take CMR any day of the week, and they can keep the trophy with the flaw in it until they find a better way to decide it!

Charles UGA 70

April 9th, 2010
8:42 am

For those to whom winning football games is more important than life, you are always going to feel the way you do unless you view the world the way Coach Richt does–thru the eyes of Christ and not the world. Would rather have Mark with his faults than a hard core winner with no life values.

TCDawg

April 9th, 2010
8:49 am

To Sick and Tired- I happen to know for a fact that CMR is exactly the person off the field and out of the “limelight” that he is when the public sees him. He’s certainly not perfect, as know one else is, but he serves the One who is.

George G.

April 9th, 2010
9:13 am

Actions speak louder than words. And the actions of UGA players on and off the field during Richt’s tenure speak to the contrary, Bill King.

Looser

April 9th, 2010
9:20 am

I do not think he will win a SEC championship again. He has to be considered an underachiever when you look at all the top 10 recruiting classes he has had. The only time he won a championship was when Florida was coached by Zook.

Dawg Whisperer

April 9th, 2010
9:30 am

Who hasn’t read or heard about coach Richt’s adoption of disabled children from poverty stricken regions of the world? How can anyone in this media driven world say they haven’t seen enough evidence that coach Richt exemplies class in his personal life? He would the first to tell you that the source of his kindness and class is readily traced to a personal relationship with Christ. Coach Richt would admit that he is not perfect, he just aspires to be. Ultimately, in the sports world, wins and losses on the gridiron determine a coach’s future but as UGA fans we are better for having a coach of this calibre

jj special

April 9th, 2010
9:51 am

Since richt has coached in 5 national championships, I find it hilarious that some here don’t know college football history.

I’d say coaching in 5 national championships makes a championship coach.

Richt has won SEVERAL Nastional Championships and he’s coached in more national championships than ANY ACTIVE COACH IN THE NATION.

Looser

April 9th, 2010
10:07 am

jj special,

I do not know what you are talking about. You can only claim championships if you are the head coach or the school.

TommyJack

April 9th, 2010
10:07 am

We shall see how much dawg fans want him to “stay for life” after he squanders class after class of recruits.

Rocket Rod

April 9th, 2010
10:11 am

Success without honor is like an unseasoned dish, It will safisfy your hunger but it does not taste as good! Go CMR, Go Dawgs!

Dawg85

April 9th, 2010
10:17 am

Saban’s a great coach but let’s look at the reality. As wishful as Alabama fans are their is no way they sustain the pace of the last two years. It won’t happen in the SEC. I checked his coaching record — at Michigan State he was 34-41-1 (it took a 9-2) his last year to make that what it was. At LSU he had three years out of five where he won less than ten games (two eight wins and a nine win season) and he was 6-6 at Bama in 2007. The Tide has had two great years but nobody is going to own the SEC. It’s too tough.

Coach Richt’s time will come. Football is constantly evolving. Richt has made some good hires. The Dawgs have plenty of talent. If Georgia fixes their defense (and I think they are on the way) they will be fine. Just think about how different some of the games the last four or five years would have been with some decent defense. I love Richt and would have liked to have seen him make a change sooner BUT he has made significant change. Take these Dawgs lightly, if you will, but you will see a different brand of Dawg in the next couple of years.

On another note– these boards remind me of an MSNBC political panel — a bunch of morons who no next to nothing but keep on repeating it to try to make it true. Makes it hard for the actual Georgia fans (and the few who seem to know about football) to engage in a real discussion.

Looser

April 9th, 2010
10:27 am

Dawg85, Take these Dawgs lightly, if you will, but you will see a different brand of Dawg in the next couple of years.

What do you think is going to happen? Georgia will win back to back games against Kentucky.

KeithB

April 9th, 2010
10:28 am

Nice guys finish 4th! If rings are what you are after, UF, Bama, and maybe LSU should be your choices in the SEC. The rest are simply whipping boys.

Endzone Dancing Fool!

April 9th, 2010
11:03 am

Richt’s the man!!! He’s working up a new endzone dance routine for the florida game this year—mark is still furious at meyer calling those late timeouts in the 08 blowout, so he’s got something bigger planned this year. Those dawgs can dance dance dance!!!! I heard they can even do it in a 3-4!!!!

Gator Nation

April 9th, 2010
11:30 am

We LOVE Richt. Please keep him @ UGA forever!

Jack Spratt

April 9th, 2010
11:32 am

If Mark Richt is such a class guy how come he’s had so many players arrested during his time at Georgia (more, IIRC, than any other coach during that same period of time)? But that’s o.k., please keep spinning this kind of stuff. Gator fans don’t want to see him fired. It’s such a shame when you lose something you own.

Reality Check

April 9th, 2010
11:35 am

The last resort of the losers- “my coach is a nice guy”.

George

April 9th, 2010
11:58 am

Ah spring fluff pieces. I guess he has been ok, but who doesn’t want to win championships?

Dawgingatorville

April 9th, 2010
12:52 pm

AMEN Sir! I agree and I hope we have Coach Richt at UGA for as long as he wants to coach!!

gladenole

April 9th, 2010
2:07 pm

Richt is a fine Christian man. But as a head coach he is above average at best. He has recruited with the best of them but the fact he has done little with it shows he is lacking as head coach. I still miss his not being at FSU. He was a great guy and one heck of an offensive coordinator but there is a big difference in being a good/great coordinator and being a good head coach

gladenole

April 9th, 2010
2:10 pm

Enjoy Mark while he’s there. I don’t think he has many years left there unless he starts to produce some championships of some type.

TXDawg3

April 9th, 2010
2:18 pm

Developing character to win in life is far more important than athletic championships! By the way, UGA will get their share of the latter as well under Coach Richt’s leadership.

Camden Mark

April 9th, 2010
3:07 pm

Jittery Urban’s already lost a game to CMR.
With superman gone I suspect its one of many more to come.

icedawg

April 9th, 2010
3:21 pm

Character is the measure of a man. Unfortunately in this day and age that no longer is an expectation from most people, even evidenced by the comments of some who write into the AJC sports blogs. Richt is a very good role model of good character. UGA is fortunate to have a man of this caliber. On top of all that, his record is very good as well. No BCS Championship? Maybe not, yet, but there are numbers of very good coaches who will probably never win a BCS Championship but excel in positively shaping the character of those under them. They are difference makers.

GaDawg

April 9th, 2010
4:11 pm

RedAndBlack
April 9th, 2010
8:03 am

I agree with you wholeheartedly!

Coach Richt is much more valuable to the University of Georgia than all of the naysayer’s, whiners, and finger pointers that post in these blogs. If they are, indeed, true UGA loyalists, they are of the “immediate gratification” generation that was never taught the value of PATIENCE. All of their screaming, heel kicking, and gotta’ have it now, fit pitching episodes, do nothing more than sew discord among brethren.

It took 38 long years of hard work, dedication, and the PATIENT understanding that 1980 would come and it did! More Championships will come, but they cannot be forced. Discord doesn’t lead to positive results; unity does. We must impose the same formula which led to the title of 1980. Coach Richt knows exactly what he is doing, and he has the patience to see it through. We are blessed to have a coach with the character he posses!
GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT…………………………………………………..

Character Counts!

April 9th, 2010
4:17 pm

This year, without tebow, UF’s going to be down. This is the year for UGA to take control of the series, which should happen. UGA’s loaded on O and D and Florida’s got a bunch of gaps, and brantley’s not that good. One hit from the Ga D and he will be on the sideline. UGA owns the SEC East in 2010—-mark it down!

statesborogator

April 9th, 2010
4:40 pm

“Jittery Urban’s already lost a game to CMR.
With superman gone I suspect its one of many more to come.”

Georgia fans are the most delusional fans in the SEC. We have only lost to you guys 3 times since 1990 and you are just as arrogant now as you were then. Urban has beaten Richt 4 out of 5 times.

I would be willing to bet if Urban or Saban decided they wanted to come coach UGA, you guys would do the happy dance all night.

Brad

April 9th, 2010
4:46 pm

Yeah, that end zone celebration had nothing but “class” written all over it! You should all be proud of class and no championships. The SEC obviously needs more of that.

Ken

April 9th, 2010
6:44 pm

Seriously ??
Yeah Mark Richt is such a class act he sent his team on the field to taunt Florida a few years ago.

IRicht is just as bad as Saban or Meyer. Not as bad as Kiffen though.

A truely classy coach in the SEC is Bobby johnson.

Steve

April 9th, 2010
7:00 pm

“Do you want a classy coach or win National Championships?” is the statement I hear. Well here is a thought…being classy AND winning National Championships is not mutually exclusive…don’t settle for less!

Dawg85

April 9th, 2010
10:37 pm

Hey Looser
What do I think will happen? I think Georgia’s going to be much better on defense, but with limited reading skills you probably have comprehension issues.

dawg149

April 9th, 2010
10:48 pm

These kids are supposed to be coming to UGA to gt an education, learn to deal with becoming an adult, and lastly, play football. Yes, I’d love to win more championships, yes, I’d love to have a trophy case of National Champ Iron, but to sell out wins for character?, Please. Too many of you put all the emphasis on w’s nd l’s. If it were your child under Richt, not just another player, wonder what would matter most then. Richt is a good guy, period. He chooses to CARE about his players like he would if they were his sons. You got a problem with that? Then take off that red n black. I’ve been a dawg for 40 something years, and nothing is going to change that, but the very idea of bashing Richt is just plain stupid, and selfish. We’re talking college football, not world peace here. Come on people, get with the program or get out of the program………

Recruit

April 9th, 2010
10:58 pm

I am being recruited by all three and aside from the same spill from all of them, what keeps sticking in the back of my mind is 1- How long will Coach Saban and Coach Meyer stay? 2- What values are not only spoken about but displayed on a daily basis. 3- Which one does my momma trust with me.

Coach Richt going to the jail to see Montez spoke a lot to me.

Malinda

April 9th, 2010
11:40 pm

Thanks so much Coach Richt. I was born a Bulldog and will proudly die a Bulldog. What a class act job you have done at Georgia. We are so lucky to have you and your family, your dedication, your wisdom and leadership. Thank you for all of your sacrifices and relentless hard work. Go 2010 Dawgs!

Ken

April 10th, 2010
4:43 am

Hey Recruit, not to sound like and ass, but how long do you think Richt will stay in Athens before being fired ?

Alabama and Florida have the SEC locked up for years. Even if Saban and Meyer both leave next week.

1stcav

April 10th, 2010
8:44 am

Finally, someone recognizes what coaching is all about. Coaching young men and helping shape their lives. The vast majority of college players will not play at the next level, rather will live like the rest of us in the real world of struggle and sacrifice. I’m very proud of Coach Richt and what he means to these young men and how he helps to shape their lives. Winning is wonderful but seeing a young man succeed in life is much more rewarding. Football is only a game.

You don't have to be smart to be a Georgia Fan ...

April 10th, 2010
8:45 am

Of all of Georgia’s past coaches, who would Georgia fans rather have than CMR? Who has the best record to this point in his career? We live in a world where people want things now! We get mad when we have to wait more than 3 minutes in a fast food line … we get mad when someone does not return our text right away … We forget out the foudations – what’s important.

Yes, the goals should be SECEC – SECC – MNC … and you had better believe CMR is focused on ALL of these … In order to win these you have to win games which CMR has proved over a long period of time he can do. Yes, UGA football has been going in the wrong direction for two years, but this is the normal up and downs that apply to everywhere in our lives. He has earned the change to right the ship. For those of you true Georgia fans that want to get rid of CMR then I would say it is you that knows nothing about winning the elusive MNC … To toss him now would be the biggest bonehead move in the history of sports.

Boca Baby

April 10th, 2010
5:42 pm

It may not be known by most but the first official national championship won by Bear Bryant was in 1961 at Alabama. This was his sixteenth year as a head coach. So we now we move into Richt’s eleventh season at UGA. I do believe that there is more than one national championship on the horizon for Mark. Doing the right thing the right way sometimes takes a while to produce results. Do I hear an echo from the grave crying, “Amen!”

Ugaclassof2004

April 10th, 2010
6:14 pm

I like Mark Richt, he definitely made my years at UGA very special. He’s a class act who reminds me of my high school head coach, another great man. My problem with Richt isn’t with him as a person or even his values, it’s with his management style. When Richt’s teams are playing up to their capabilities, they are capable of beating any team in the nation, and I really and truly believe that. But then his teams’ will turn around and not show up mentally the next week and lose to an inferior opponent.

And in the last 3 years, it has been very disturbing watching my Dawgs get blown out to mediocre teams like Tennessee. It’s like they get hit in the mouth and don’t respond. Richt’s earlier teams would fight you till the very end. The David Greene and David Pollack teams from 2001-2004 would have never lost to Florida 49-10! No way!!! These players right now don’t seem to have a whole lot of pride and it’s up to the head coach to either instill that pride or to bench players if they under-perform.

And finally , much negative attention has been given to Richt’s assistants, and I echo those statements. But the bigger issue to me is Richt’s inability to evaluate talent. Good head coaches aren’t necessarily football masterminds, but they know enough to put their best players on the field and their best assistants as their coordinators. And that’s a major flaw in Richt’s leadership style!

Crimson Crush

April 11th, 2010
1:28 am

Funny stuff … like spraying perfume in a bathroom stall to try and do something about the appalling stench that IS Georgia football .

When you see articles like this and then a bunch of Kool Aid drinkers running in on the comment section to proclaim stuff like “football isn’t everything ” or “I’d rather have losing seasons for 20 years than win one national championship” … you pretty much know Richt already now has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel as the Georgia head coach of football . LOL

Richt's Class!

April 11th, 2010
6:43 am

“When Richt’s teams are playing up to their capabilities, they are capable of beating any team in the nation….”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! When do Richt’s teams play “up to their capabilities?” (Hint: they don’t, that’s why they go bowls in Shreveport.).

Kincade Licks Buck's Nuggets

April 11th, 2010
9:01 am

I wouldn’t trade Mark Richt for Nick Saban. Saban will be gone in a couple of years, and Bama will go back to being on probation and playing lousy football. And the Bama fans will be reminded of him every time they go to Bryant-Denny Stadium and see his statue.

crimson crush is a moron

April 11th, 2010
10:02 am

The lack of football knowledge on the AJC boards is incredible. Any dummy (Ken) who really thinks that Florida and Alabama now own the SEC is in for a rude awakening. I know the rosy picture about Alabama and Saban (and how two years out of being 6-6 they are now the best program in the history of college football– blah, blah, blah) but with all the defensive losses Alabama suffered it may be a little tougher year. I think the stupid comments come from people who act like CMR hasn’t done anything at Georgia. BTW Crimson Crush he is 3-1 against Bama.

Ken

April 11th, 2010
4:26 pm

Sorry but Saban and Meyer will recruit 5 star caliber players every year, and will continue to dominate UGA for quite awhile.

BTW I’m not a Tide fan or a Gator fan, I’m a Vanderbilt fan.

joe robby

April 12th, 2010
12:23 am

It’s clear to see in the responses to thie article why Alabama, for all of its success on the football field, is a joke of an institution. Think of EVERY negative stereotype about college athletics and its Alabama that comes to mind. Now you see why.

Thanks Bill. Finally, something reality based that’s worth reading.

joe robby

April 12th, 2010
12:30 am

Ken, no need for you to keep posting over and over and throwing in the shameless Bobby Johnson, Vandy plug. We get it. The problem is no one cares about you or what you think. You’re probably not a Vandy guy anyway. A Vandy guy would be smarter and would know what is important.

The real truth is you haters just can’t stand it when someone neutral says anything good about UGA. It just drives you nuts. Well sit in it and stew.

BuLLdawg

April 12th, 2010
6:39 am

What in the hell is this all about when we fired Jim Donnan for losing 13 games his last 4 years here. Now, we’ve lost 14 games the last 4 years here, and because half of the 92 arrested /suspended are on the offensive side of the football in the Coach Richt Era, you think you can claim because Coach Richt is a Christian, that that is more important that how his PLAYERS perform on the field and in life. Our players are most assuredly NOT acting out these values you ascribe to St. Richt. You give him a pass, when he has fired his entire Defensive coaching staff except Rodney Garner, the whole Special Teams coaching staff, and now has taken over all the Duties and even day-to-day operations of the entire Offensive Staff.

Clearly, Coach Richt’s coaching staff has LET HIM DOWN. His players continue to let him down on a daily basis, recruited by his coaching staff here.

5 fumbles yesterday, 4 sacks of Aaron Murray alone, 5 deep passes by Aaron Murray all overthrown, his short passes were many of them behind the receivers and uncatchable all to the 1st team Offense who returns intact except for the QB, and Aaron Murray threw the only interception to have now 5 interceptions in the scrimmages.

This for an offense which has in the last 4 years, lost to every SEC East Team in a row, gone 1-3 vs the vols the last 4 years, gone 1-3 vs Florida the last 4 years, gone 10-10 vs SEC East teams the last 4 years all while averaging # 96 in Penalties every year the last 4 years, averaging 21 fumbles per year every year the last 4 years in a row, and averaging 14 interceptions a year the last 4 years in a row.

And, he is a Saint because he visited Montez Robinson in Jail whom the author FAILS to point out beat up a girl repeatedly. First he slams her into a dumpster. Then, he picks her up and slams her to the floor at McWhorter Hall. That is his recruit. Just as Zach Mettenberger is. Just as 92 arrested / suspended in the Coach Richt Era are his PLAYERS – none of them acting like he has taught them ANYTHING about being a Christian for all to see and know for certain.

14-game seasons nowadays and he is a Saint going 9-4 or 10-3 again this season as he has had only 1 season with more than 11 wins. UGA is not in the Top 8 teams in the nation in his tenure and once a month we have some player on his team let him down. Not to mention in 14-game seasons having the expectation of going 9-4 or 10-3.

This is the 5th year now in a row that if we do not make it out of our own division of our own conference, that we will not even play for our own Conference Championship while you sit there bragging about Coach Richt’s Walk with Jesus.

I thought he was the head football coach ?

If I wanted the players to demonstrate this much Christian Values, I would teach them a class of Religion. And, hire a football coach who has some clue about hiring a coaching staff to teach them at least to not beat up little girls and instead WIN FOOTBALL GAMES in our own damn division of our own damn conference, let alone get on the National Stage – which he has NEVER DONE – beating a Top 10 Final AP Poll team in a damn bowl game.