POSTCARD FROM HONDURAS
Mark Richt was nearly 1,400 miles away from the Georgia Bulldogs’ practice fields this week, touring impoverished areas of Honduras served by the Christian charity organization World Vision International. It was his third visit to Honduras , but the first time any media has accompanied him. This is the last of daily postcards provided by AJC reporter Steve Hummer, who followed Richt and his wife Katharyn to chronicle their trip. Look for an in-depth report on Richt’s journey in Sunday’s AJC.
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — The return to what in Mark Richt’s world passes for normalcy began Friday before he and his wife, Katharyn, boarded the plane for home.
In the Honduran countryside, no one knew Richt or really understood what he did for a living. You try explaining his job to someone with no knowledge of The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
“Coach Mark,” he often was referred to, without any real concept of the title.
But in the airport in the Honduran capital, fellow Americans, many of them returning from mission trips, lined up to have their picture taken with the Bulldogs coach. Here, he was Coach Richt again.
The story of this trip was about caring and sharing. As a way of transitioning to the more cutthroat world of college football, let’s consider one story Richt told on himself this week.
Yes, there are limits to his Christian charity.
While the Richts were in Honduras, three of their four children were at a religious camp in Missouri. One of the counselors there, a close family friend, had asked the Richts for a ticket to the season opener against Boise State. Katharyn initially said no problem. But when her husband learned that the ticket actually was for a friend of their friend — a Boise State fan — he turned down the request flat.
“He’s a good kid, but I’m not going to help Boise State. We’re going to do battle, and the last thing I want to do is help some of them,” the coach said.
The process of getting back his game face has begun.