Richt in Honduras: Football soon far from his mind

Katharyn and Mark Richt arrived in Honduras Monday for week long charity trip. (Steve Hummer, steve@ajc.com

Katharyn and Mark Richt arrived in Honduras Monday for week long charity trip. (Steve Hummer, steve@ajc.com

Mark Richt is nearly 1,400 miles away from the Georgia Bulldogs practice field this week, touring impoverished areas of Honduras served by the Christian charity, World Vision International. It is his third visit to Honduras, but the first time any media has accompanied him. This week we will be providing daily postcards, as a coach views the world beyond the narrow focus of football. Look for an in-depth report on this other side of Richt – one far removed from the gaudy excesses of big-time college football – in Sunday’s AJC.

On the road to La Esperanza:

Sunday, Mark Richt celebrated Father’s Day at his Lake Hartwell home, enjoying the place while he can. That’s the same $2 million home he put up for sale in May, after deciding there were far more egalitarian uses for his money than supporting a second home.

Twenty-four hours later, he was flying into the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa. Monday was a big travel day before visiting some of World Vision’s projects in the mountainous western part of the country.

Coach, you’re definitely not in the gated community any more.

Both at a restaurant where the Richt party had lunch and at a rest stop along the way, private security guards with shotguns patrolled the parking lots. (Armed guards are a common sight here wherever the public gathers).

The four-hour drive from the capital to La Esperanza wound through areas where shacks clung to the hillsides in defiance of Newton’s Laws. The road alternated between paved and unpaved. Our little caravan of three SUVs came to halt several times when the road narrowed to one lane, and another time to yield to a small group of wandering cattle.

There is one upside to this locale, as far as Richt can tell. Soon enough, he will be immersed in football. Here, he doesn’t have to be.

Will there be any Bulldogs business transacted this week, he is asked.

“Depends if they can get hold of me or not,” he said. “Maybe I’ll work on something schematic if it’s on my mind.”

We will update if the coach begins sketching plays in the Honduran dust.

– Steve Hummer

132 comments Add your comment

Truth

June 20th, 2011
9:49 pm

@Tuff, how can you not come away knowing he realizes how lucky he is from reading anthing about what Richt does on and off season- giving so much to those who have much, much less – to say someting not very bright like that.

Milledgeville Dawg

June 20th, 2011
9:55 pm

As person who has traveled to Central America multiple times for missionary work, I don’t blame CMR for having security guards. The majority of the population there live off stealing and mugging people. He is there to help those who are by far less fortunate than the poorest in the USA. Bottom line, in my opinion we have no poverty in this country compared to Central America.

Alphare

June 20th, 2011
10:43 pm

This is the kind of coach everybody wants to root for.

Coach, kick gators’ butts and win a championship. UGA is Tech’s rival, but kicking gators’ butts will make all Georgians proud.

BobDawg

June 20th, 2011
10:55 pm

While Tressel “Talks the Talk”… our Coach “Walks the Walk….

UGA FOR LIFE

June 20th, 2011
11:24 pm

Coach we will be in prayer for you while you are away from your home church here in Athens. We love you and think the world of you and Kathryn. Thanks for taking the Gospel to those less fortunate who have not heard and are in need, and it’s time like these I am glad you can do this before the season begins.

Danny D.

June 20th, 2011
11:31 pm

Richt knows damn well he has more than anything he could ever want and he goes above and beyond to give back to those who need it. How many NCAA coaches take their millions and adopt a young girl from the Ukraine with proteus syndrome along with her brother? Not to mention the thousands upon thousands of dollars and hours of time he and his wife have donated to various charities. Im not saying he’s a saint or anything, b The man damn sure appreciates everything he has and gives much more than the average American.

German Shepherd Dawg

June 21st, 2011
12:07 am

LRover,

I don’t imagine Richt invited the media as much as they asked to be there.

My guess is you could invite the media when you volunteer, but they wouldn’t be interested…unless you’re a celebrity of some sort.

MattMD, this is usually a mission trip, hardly what one would normally call a vacation.

DAWGMAN

June 21st, 2011
12:11 am

2d & 10, Go DAWGS, GO! The mission effort could be just as productive in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, or Savannah. The funds could be spent in Georgia and, respent again and again to the benefit of Georgian’s schools, roads, and social service agencies. It could be spent without the need for armed guards or the need for media. It could be done anonymously. Let’s till our land first.

onion ring

June 21st, 2011
12:15 am

onion ring

June 21st, 2011
12:16 am

very sorry!!! that was supposed to be GO DOGS—

Nachos w/cheese

June 21st, 2011
12:34 am

Why go to south america? There are just as many people here in Athens and other parts of Georgia needs help. I took a week of vacation to help my neighbors in Alabama and I didn’t take the press with me. If you have to take armed guards with you, why go at all?

CD

June 21st, 2011
1:08 am

Agree…where all the needy kids in Georgia covered?

shane#1

June 21st, 2011
1:19 am

Man, what a bunch of morons! What turnip truck did you guys fall off of? I am so sick and tired of the idiots! Why invite the media? Well you idiot, when you put your dime in the plate on Sunday to buy your preacher a new Buick no one cares. When hundreds are sick from bad water the media draws attention to the problem. Can ya’ll read? Oh, and for all the problems in this country, well there are 320 million of us here now so get off your ass and buy a homeless guy a Crystal or something. Damn, what a bunch of losers!

shane#1

June 21st, 2011
1:31 am

He twirp, maybe I kidnap your sissy ass and stomp it and we let CMR go on to do good things,

JacketBacker01

June 21st, 2011
1:32 am

Enter your comments here

Adam

June 21st, 2011
1:42 am

Well this is directly in response to everyone who has commented why go overseas to do mission work. This is the only question I have for you guys, How many people in this country that you know of have the chance to not be homeless or not be needy? I completely agree that there are people right here in athens and in georgia that need help. But there are people overseas not just in honduras that are dying daily from curable diseases. Things that we get sick of and go to the doctor and two days later we are back at work. These people are dying from it because of the unhealthy environment that they have been BORN into. It was not there choice to be brought into the world into the place they live, but they were and it is our responsibility as Christians to take the Gospel to them. That is what Coach Richt is doing and that is what he has always done. He is taking his vacation to take the Gospel to the other ends of the earth. Just what the Great Commission tells us to do, he is doing. God bless you Coach Mark Richt for who you are and for what you are doing to further the kingdom of God. I love football as much as anyone does but when it comes to real life sacrifices, you have to put all of that aside. I am praying for Coach Richt and all of the peoples lives that he will change. Go DAWGS and God Bless.

JacketBacker01

June 21st, 2011
1:44 am

Oops, sorry for the ubiquitous “Enter your comments here”…my fingers were working a little too fast. Anyhow, I commend Richt for his service and missionary efforts, it’s a great thing when someone more fortunate gives to the less fortunate. The only thing I question is what is he “really” giving to these folks other than time…is he donating money to some charity or to the mission itself? I would think and hope so, but I haven’t seen any documentation on this yet…you would think that someone that makes the money he does, that would be the case. Also, why the media presence…Richt has done this in years past with no media present. So I question the motives just a bit, not much, but why have the media? You can certainly serve a mission with no presence of media and serve just as well if not more. Yet again, I commend him for his meaning and efforts. Good luck to him and the Dogs.

1962 Dawg

June 21st, 2011
4:06 am

Helping people in need is always a win in life,
To all who say why not help the needy here in Georgia? CMR does a great deal of charity work for the childrens hospital of Atlanta.
The media follows CMR’s every move anyway, he probably didn’t have choice in whether they could tag along.
CMR is truly one person that gives back more than he takes, and for that we as Dawg fans should be proud to have him as our coach. I know I am.

onegadawg

June 21st, 2011
5:22 am

CMR has his life’s priorities in order and is using his position of prominence to help others. He has it together where it matters most and he knows it. I just hope he can pull it back together on the football field. Unfortunately, I don’t know if he can compete with Spurrier, Saban, Muschamp, etc. and keep these priorities in order. If you look at the National Champions over the last 10 years, several of the teams had head coaches that had to compromise their families, cheat, and/or lie to win. Good luck CMR.

@Matt M.D.

June 21st, 2011
5:41 am

Great comment Matt M.D. C.M.R. is a great man no doubt about that. He is geting paid to win football games .Nothng more nothing less.

. If C.M.R. does not win ball games the donors will put him on a looooonngg missision trip.

Dawggy Style

June 21st, 2011
6:43 am

If the media coverage inspires a reader to be more charitable or mission-oriented, then I would argue that it is worthwhile. If a reader wants to infer that Richt orchestrated the coverage for PR purposes, then that particular individual already has formed a negative opinion of Richt without ever having met the man. Now, in the whole scheme of things, who really is the better person?

Don G

June 21st, 2011
7:24 am

I have traveled to Honduras for 14 years. The comment about most people making their living by stealing and mugging is misinformed and a lie. The majority of the Honduran people are hardworking, family oriented people who are in a subsistent mode of growing food for their own families.
The armed guards are everywhere and are as much latin machismo as anything.
I expect that the media is along to promote the idea of sharing through missions than any self promotion by Couch Richt.
As to where one does their mission work, everyone has a call on their hearts. Perhaps his is in the foreign field as is mine. We both do plenty stateside as well. I suggest everyone look to their own house before being critical.

tell me again

June 21st, 2011
7:24 am

Coach Richt is the best coach in America EXACTLY BECAUSE he keeps it ALL IN PERSPECTIVE. THe young men under him have a man they can emulate – not just someone who teaches them to carry the pigskin. We are so fortunate to have him at the university and as the face of Georgia football. You “FANS” who say “all that is fine but he was hired to coach football” are EXACTLY what is wrong with college sports – win at all costs – recruit the losers if they can play – just make us money and bring us a trophy – you guys are the ones that need to get out of town – not Coach Richt. You think football is everything – guess what – IT’S NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He’s a winner on the field and off – something many of you posters ARE NOT. GO DAWGS!

kevinandrew99

June 21st, 2011
7:29 am

It is fantastic time to refinance home mortgage. As Clark Howard says it is very tough to find these low rates for long time. Search online for “123 Refinance” they found me THE lowest possible rate.

Fleming Island Dawg

June 21st, 2011
7:39 am

He didn’t bring his own media or guards. The guards are hired by the businesses that he stopped at. All businesses there do it.

Mike

June 21st, 2011
7:48 am

Incredible character and integrity, I’m so proud of our football coach. I also am so sad to read some of these comments, college football is much more than wins and losses it’s about building character in young men. What a great example for all of us to follow. BTW this was written by a DAWG fan of over 45 years and a season ticket holder. I love this guy!

BMDPD

June 21st, 2011
7:57 am

Wow, I am extremely disappointed and saddened by many of these comments.

Tom

June 21st, 2011
8:00 am

I’ve been to LaEsperanza, Honduras. The extreme excesses of the US are apparent once a person has visited that place. Houses with dirt floors, no indoor plumbing or water or power, door frames with no doors, window frames with no windows, Never meat to eat. And yet we in the us spend how much money per year on a game?

Red

June 21st, 2011
8:04 am

It did not say HE had security guards. Many places in Honduras will hire their own security team to enforce law. You go to a mall in San Pedro Sula and there is what looks like a private army protecting that place. Wendy’s had armed security. This is the norm.

I am by no means a UGA fan but what Richt is doing is living the Gospel. No matter how much he gets paid he is giving back. He has adopted an orphan. He funds groups and causes like this.

And to those who say help the needy here first – people help in causes they feel led to. A person may devote all efforts to helping the Alzheimer Association. It doesn’t mean they think the American Cancer Society any less. Richt may feel a calling here as well as Honduras. We may not know what he actually does here as well. For those hitting someone for helping somewhere else rather than here, 99% of these people aren’t doing something themselves. And instead of criticizing someone, try praising them for actually living out their faith or beliefs. Most people today are too selfish to dare help anyone else in need.

Paul N Destin

June 21st, 2011
8:18 am

A UGA fan speaking about beating the Gators is really funny. Really you guys need to say nothing about the Gators…maybe Vandy.

tenndawg

June 21st, 2011
8:28 am

I’m not a Christian, but I think CMR is a good man… problem is, he’s preaching to the converted, Honduras is a Christian country, why preach to the converted? That said, its great that he’s helping the poor, I don’t give a rat’s behind under what religion its done under.

MDDawg

June 21st, 2011
8:35 am

MattMD, you are a very small, insignificant human being. Being a doctor myself, I truly hope you are not one as well

Dawglasville

June 21st, 2011
8:40 am

I’ve been to Honduras too. Soldiers are the police. A lot of people use machetes and their feet to get to work. If you have never been to a third world country you have no idea. If Coach Richt is shining a light on these problems by taking the media then good for him. I would guess that the majority of you guys who are taking shots are in your twenties.

RedPantsDawg

June 21st, 2011
8:44 am

I don’t think there is any doubt he’s a good man but he has fallen short the last 3 years as a coach and the program has suffered. Richt the man and Richt the coach have to be separated in the cold reality of the profession he is in. Things like this set the stage for the fan base to be torn apart when a tough decision needs to get made. The fact is Richt is paid $3M a year to win games and he has admitted he hasn’t had his team ready to play (his words; not mine look it up). So you guys go ahead and tell me I’m not a “true fan” or I’m a jerk for calling out the obvious.

Jimmy Carter

June 21st, 2011
8:57 am

Speaking as one who has been on several mission trips to the third world; I wish I had a dime for every person who told me they wanted to go “to help those poor people”. and then came back saying how much more they received than what they gave. Mission trips are about sharing the Gospel of Christ, not ‘vacations” what little help is provided is done in the spirit of unconditional love. Lives are changed by changing the heart, not the physical circumstances you live in. Best part of it is that those on the mission trip are ususally changed the most!

Dawglasville

June 21st, 2011
8:58 am

Kudos to Katharyn Richt as well. I think it is very cool that she is with coach as much as she can be. I know that we don’t know everything about them, but for what most of us know, they appear to be a great example for many young people. Hopefully his players are paying attention.

MsBulldawg84

June 21st, 2011
8:58 am

To amswer the question “why go overseas?” By going overseas CMR and Mrs CMR can go and do their work without always being pointed at and recognized. They can serve just like anyone else without their “celebrity status” being in the way of their calling. Kudos to the Richts!

Georgia

June 21st, 2011
9:01 am

…and how lucky Georgia is to have Mark Richt.

BG

June 21st, 2011
9:03 am

How many coaches in the SEC does this kind of thing besides Richt?

LRover Is So Dumb

June 21st, 2011
9:05 am

@LRover
Are you so dumb as to not realize how valuable this PR is for the trip. CMR is not allowing publicity for his ego. He is doing it for a much greater reason………..
That maybe so low life like you will see the need and somehow get involved in Honduras or some other equally needy place.
Now I can tell by your lame comment that you wouldn’t lift a finger to help anyone. You are too busy finding fault in others.
Glad I don’t have your miserable life.

DAWG MAN

June 21st, 2011
9:11 am

CLASS ACT RATHER HE WINS FOOTBALL GAMES OR NOT!!!!

Muschamp

June 21st, 2011
9:16 am

Hey Richt… You keep preachin’ in Central America and I’ll keep coachin’ here in FL. No wonder your team sucked last year. You should spend a little less time on vacation.

Top Dawg

June 21st, 2011
9:27 am

Richt is great man. I don’t care if he goes 0-12 next year, he should still be our coach. Can’t find a better steward than Richt to lead Bulldog nation into the future.

Bulldawg

June 21st, 2011
9:29 am

tenndawg,

Just because Honduras is a “Christian” country doesn’t mean all the people there are Christians. America is a “Christian” nation, but not everyone here is a Christian. There are many people in both places that have never heard the true message of the gospel – Jesus’ invitation to humanity to accept him as personal savior to inherit eternal life.

Coach Richt has his priorities in life in order. I am personally challenged by his desire to do what is right in this world.

Also, I think a lot of people forget that Coach Richt’s wife had cancer a few years back. That certainly has given both of them a new perspective on living. I applaud their efforts to make a difference in this world. We’ve got a great coach, but a better man.

Bo

June 21st, 2011
9:31 am

To those asking why take the media: I don’t know if the Richt’s asked the media to come along or the other way around. However, Hummer’s reports will cause plenty of people to read about charity being done in the name of God that would not otherwise concern themselves with it. By now anyone who cares to know about Mark Richt, knows that he is a man of Christ and loves his fellow man regardless as to whether he gets credit for it or not.

Later Tater

June 21st, 2011
9:39 am

Muschamp, you’re a scum sucking loser in life.

DawginLex

June 21st, 2011
9:40 am

I am amazed at the bashing that Coach Richt gets for doing something he believes in. I am proud he walks the walk.

I am pulling for him to have a turnaround year too.

And to the 9:33 am poster, I will fully expect you to post next as
“DawginLex Eats Idiot Sandwiches”. Go ahead and take the bait.

CMR Days r numbered

June 21st, 2011
9:41 am

His last year @ UGA and he knows it. Then he will have plenty of time to help the poor in Honduras.

DawginLex

June 21st, 2011
9:43 am

CMR Days r numbered

June 21st, 2011
9:41 am
His last year @ UGA and he knows it. Then he will have plenty of time to help the poor in Honduras.

*************************************************

Will you be willing to admit you were wrong when Richt has a good year and gets a contract extension?

Dirty Dawg

June 21st, 2011
9:44 am

How pathetic some of you ‘posters’ are…I still can’t really believe that all of you Richt-bashers are, or ever have been, Georgia fans. The ‘media’ is there in the belief that they’ll help call attention to the World Vision project and the hope that more will be willing to help…those that think a football coach should only be a tobacco-chewin’, cigar-chompin’, a-kickin’, neanderthal, SOB are the truly pathetic creatures of this world and don’t really have much to look forward to….and, Heaven forbid, if anything bad happens to this group, and/or to the Richts, during this mission, I’m gonna personally find out who ‘ik perry’ is and let him know just how ‘true’ Georgia fans should act and what they should say about their program – in other words see to it that there’s nothing left of your a$$ to bother with.