AUBURN, Ala. – Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said Saturday that he expects Mark Richt to remain the Bulldogs’ coach next season.
“Sure I do,” he said before the game against Auburn. “Absolutely.”
Asked if he’s ready to say unequivocally that he wants to retain Richt — often rumored to be on the occupational “hot seat” – as Georgia’s coach next season, McGarity elaborated:
“I’d say, based on the first 10 games, [there's] no question about that. I know we’re 5-5 [before Saturday's loss], but you go back and you look at all the dynamics involved — how close the games were. It’s not like we’re dealing with situations here of lop-sided losses, of being non-competitive. There are some games we wish we could have won by taking care of the ball a little better or making certain tackles or interceptions. You go back and play that through your mind, and if you dwell on it too long, it’ll just eat you up. You’ve just got to focus on getting better every day and do what you can do to be the best you can be.”
McGarity made his comments on the same day the Denver Post reported that Colorado is interested in talking with Richt about its vacant coaching job. The Post cited an unnamed source “close to the Colorado search.”
When informed of that report, McGarity said: “Really? I did not know that. That’s the first I’ve heard of that.”
UPDATE: Richt chuckled when told after the game about the report. “Georgia is my home,” he said. He left it at that.
McGarity said he has not been contacted by Colorado and has gotten no indication that Richt wants to be anywhere other than Georgia. Richt, in his 10th season as the Bulldogs’ coach, has said repeatedly over the years that he wants to complete his career at UGA. McGarity said his sense “absolutely” is that Richt wants to be at Georgia.
“He and I have had great discussions all season long,” McGarity said. “We have been very frank with each other. . . . I have seen nothing but all things pointing to him wanting to stay at the University of Georgia.”
Asked if he, reciprocally, has signaled to Richt that Georgia wants to keep him, McGarity said: “I think so. I tell you what: One thing we’re going to do is spend all the time necessary with our coaches to give them all the resources they need. We’re in the hole with them. When we lose, we’re right there with them: ‘What can we do to help?’ I think you actually work harder when you have some adversity. It’s easy when things are going right to pat yourself on the back.”
McGarity said he and Richt have not talked specifically about the future because they are focused on this season.
“If we get going about the future and things of that nature, then we’re getting off track,” McGarity said. “We’ll talk about that later. I am working with Mark Richt — I think our whole staff is — to help make this thing happen. I fully expect Mark to be with us for a while.”