Richt, Pinkel tenures defy the coaching carousel

ATHENS – When Missouri was seeking a football coach in November 2000, athletic director Mike Alden flew to Tallahassee to interview Florida State’s offensive coordinator.

Mark Richt (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Mark Richt (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Mark Richt and his wife were intrigued.

“Katharyn and I heard [Columbia, Mo.] was a great town for family. Just everything we heard about it was positive,” Richt recalled this week. “There were a lot of other things that seemed to be simmering at that time in my life as far as job opportunities, but Missouri is one we thought might be a special place to be.”

It wasn’t to be, of course. Missouri instead hired Toledo coach Gary Pinkel. Several weeks later, after also interviewing with Virginia, Richt was hired by Georgia.

The surprising part, given the turnover rate among college football coaches, is that both Richt and Pinkel remain in the jobs they landed almost 12 years ago. They’ll coach against each other for the first time Saturday night, when Georgia plays at Missouri in the Tigers’ first SEC game.

Pinkel

Gary Pinkel (Missouri photo)

Only five head coaches in major-college football, none at SEC schools, have been in their current jobs longer continuously than Richt and Pinkel.

“It’s not shocking to me that I’m still here in that I know in my heart this is where I want to be,” Richt said. “But we know it’s a rough business, too.”

Richt has a 107-38 record at Georgia, while Pinkel is 86-54 at Missouri. Pinkel, who took over a program that had experienced 15 losing seasons in the previous 17 years, posted losing records in three of his first four seasons but has gone 64-28 since.

The man who interviewed for the job 12 years ago has taken note of Missouri’s run.

“Ever since then, I’ve kind of kept an eye on them and have been really impressed,” Richt said.

And the man who interviewed Richt has kept an eye on Georgia.

“Mark Richt has done such a great job with that program,” Alden, still Missouri’s athletic director, said at this summer’s SEC meetings.

At the time of Richt’s interview with Missouri, Florida State had completed its 2000 regular season and was headed toward a third consecutive national championship game berth, making Richt a hot commodity.

“It wasn’t like [I] interviewed and they said, ‘We don’t want you,’” Richt recalled. “They were continuing to interview. But I enjoyed the conversation and had other interviews going on, too.”

On Nov. 30, 2000, Missouri hired Pinkel. On Dec. 26, 2000, then-Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley hired Richt.

“I think Missouri found their man in Coach Pinkel,” Richt said when the topic of the long-ago interview came up at SEC Media Days this summer. “It wasn’t a decision that I turned down Missouri. It was a decision that Missouri [believed] Coach Pinkel was the best man for the job. Obviously, they were correct.”

Missouri’s success under Pinkel, including three seasons of 10-plus wins in the past five years, helped position the school for the offer to join the SEC. Seven of Pinkel’s nine assistants have been at Missouri since his first season there, continuity that he appreciates amid the change of leagues.

“Staying at one school for 12 years, then all of a sudden switching leagues, that’s probably historic in itself,” Pinkel said.

The tenures of Richt and Pinkel reflect rare stability in a nomadic profession — stability that Richt said he was determined to find.

Several years before taking the Georgia job, Richt interviewed at Pittsburgh and “realized I wasn’t ready to be a head coach,” he said this week. “I did feel like the Lord was telling me, ‘Get ready because it’s coming.’ So from that moment on, I began to pay a little more attention to what [Florida State] coach [Bobby] Bowden was doing and thinking in terms of what I might be doing if I was a head coach.

“I also knew after that Pittsburgh interview that if we ever did leave [FSU], we wanted to move only once. I enjoyed the stability of being in one place for a long time for my family. … When the Georgia job came, Katharyn and I just had a peace [about it]. And even though I about chickened out the night before, when Coach Dooley offered me the job I knew in my heart that this was the one.”

LONGEVITY LIST

The FBS head coaches with the most tenure, consecutively, in their current jobs:

Coach    School    First season

1. Frank Beamer Virginia Tech 1987

2. Larry Blakeney Troy 1991

3. Mack Brown Texas 1998

4. Kirk Ferentz Iowa 1999

4. Bob Stoops Oklahoma 1999

6. Mark Richt Georgia 2001

6. Gary Pinkel Missouri 2001

6. Gary Patterson TCU 2001

6. Jim Grobe Wake Forest 2001

10. Jeff Tedford California 2002

THIS WEEK’S UGA COVERAGE:

UGA’s next opponent at a glance: Missouri

Richt, Pinkel tenures defy coaching carousel

Dogs look to restore road reputation

Austin Long eager to play major role on offensive line

Gurley not worried about starting, just wants to stay around longer

Video: Georgia-Missouri matchup viewed from both sides of field

Gurley’s early drop could’ve cost him third touchdown

Richt, Grantham remain vague on status of suspended players

It may be old-man football to some, but Jon Gruden loves what Georgia does

Missouri player: UGA plays ‘old man football’

81 comments Add your comment

WDE

September 6th, 2012
2:55 pm

Well congrats to both coaches !

Go Dawgs!

September 6th, 2012
2:59 pm

We love Coach Richt regardless of the haters out there.
Doing a damn good job and geting better.

Go Dawgs!

September 6th, 2012
3:00 pm

The silent majority love Coach Richt, while the vocal minority is miniscule

Larry

September 6th, 2012
3:12 pm

A couple of decent men, who strike a rare balance between pride and humility — something that can’t be said of all head coaches. May their good sportsmanship be shared by the partisans on both sides this Saturday, in a thrilling and historic football game! If Georgia wins (as the experts expect), I’ll try to be first back here to offer my sincere congratulations. If Mizzou wins, I will remain humble (especially since I will not have lined up in pads!). Let’s have some ballgame fun, friends! :>)

Alphare

September 6th, 2012
3:14 pm

Neither of them win an NC in the past 12 years (24years combined), but both are solid coaches.

Bad Dawg

September 6th, 2012
3:15 pm

I don’t love coach Richt. He’s been here too long and has reached his ceiling. He won’t lead UGA to a SEC or national championship and will continue to recruit young men who embarrass UGA off of the field. Chris Peterson anyone?

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 6th, 2012
3:24 pm

Come to UGA John Gruden…please

Clanton Dawg

September 6th, 2012
3:28 pm

@ Bad Dawg……BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

DIck Enhand

September 6th, 2012
3:29 pm

Ware Dawg

September 6th, 2012
3:31 pm

Please beat Mizzou this Saturday!!!!

Blue Ridge Dawg

September 6th, 2012
3:36 pm

It’s a “what have you done for me lately” business. And oh some of you so called uga fans forget so so quickly…. Goff.. Donnan.. ? Really, we are upset because CMR has not won a National Championship? Look at what he HAS done. Also, UGA would not have a National Championship under Dooly if it want for number 34. And Dooly should have won 2 more, but didnt. CMR is the best thing that ever happened to UGA! GO DAWGS!!

1eyedJack

September 6th, 2012
3:40 pm

In every litter there is always one Bad Dawg.

piermontdawgny

September 6th, 2012
3:42 pm

if Richt doesn’t win with this team and this schedule he never will…two recent observations: urban meyer telling his team during the summer he wants an angry team; a team with a chip on its shoulder…or saban, up 31-0 over Michigan and having a sideline melt-down because his team made a bad play…teams play like their coaches coach..anger, emotion and intensity are meyer and saban highlights..richt could use some of that magic potion!

GTMizzou

September 6th, 2012
3:43 pm

Only 2 of the coaches on the list have won a national championship.

LHarding Dawg

September 6th, 2012
3:44 pm

Bad Dawg has some serious mental issues.

Larry

September 6th, 2012
3:45 pm

___________
Come to UGA John Gruden…please
___________

You mean Jon “Chucky” Gruden? Maybe he should coach the Chipmunks…wherever they play.

WDE

September 6th, 2012
3:46 pm

@1eyedJack and Blue Ridge well said both of you !

Bad Dawg

September 6th, 2012
3:49 pm

Yeah you guys keep supporting Richt and UGA will continue to embarrass themselves on and off the field. Time for the dawgs to get back to the top. Enough of settling for 5th or 6th best in the SEC. Richt’s not the man for the job unless you like losing the vast majority of your big games and numerous off the field issues.

fghdss

September 6th, 2012
3:51 pm

Ogletree is playing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And so is Commings!!!!!!!!!!!!

Larry

September 6th, 2012
3:54 pm

I’d take Chris PetersEn at Mizzou in a heartbeat! That guy is tops, in my opinion!

(Y’all don’t spell coach names too very well!) ;>)

fghdss

September 6th, 2012
3:56 pm

BAD DAWG

UGA finished 2nd last year FYI. I think we have a shot at the Natty Championship this year. If all goes well and the injuries are limited, I know Richt gets back to Atlanta for the FIFTH time in 12 years. Just about every other year FYI. Not too shabby from where I’m sitting.

Win that game and we are almost guaranteed a shot at the Natty. Stranger things HAVE happened.

Go Dawgs!
Win with Richt!!!

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 6th, 2012
3:57 pm

Larry…yes…Chucky

Larry

September 6th, 2012
3:57 pm

______________________________________
Ogletree is playing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And so is Commings!!!!!!!!!!!!
______________________________________

“I want to show you something. It’s my shocked look.”

Lance

September 6th, 2012
4:00 pm

I have seen nothing on Ogletree or Commings. Where did you see that?

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 6th, 2012
4:01 pm

SEC appearances under Richt 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2011.

Bad Dawg

September 6th, 2012
4:03 pm

I have been saying all preseason that UGA has zero chance of beating Alabama or LSU if they make it to the SECCG. The best Richt will get out of this cupcake schedule is a Capital One Bowl appearance. Enough is enough. He can’t get the job done or recruit guys who want to represent the university properly. I think the off the field issues are even more embarrassing than the on the field let downs. I don’t see why a lot of our fans think so highly of Richt. He hasn’t done squat in 5 years and last year was more of the same. Didn’t win a single game versus a highly regarded opponent.

Bad Dawg

September 6th, 2012
4:07 pm

Who cares if you make it to the SECCG if your’e going to get embarrassed on national tv? 2002,2003, and 2005 was a good stretch for Richt but too bad he can’t keep up with the new head coaches that the SEC are hiring. He’s a solid coach but not elite. UGA needs elite if they want to keep up with Saban.

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 6th, 2012
4:10 pm

Bad Dawg…I agree with you. I was responding to someone elses post who stated Richt had been to SECCG 5 times. It has been 4 and only won it once…that was 2002.

Nick

September 6th, 2012
4:10 pm

It’s a sad state of affairs that this is even a story nowadays. It ain’t like in the old days for sure. Remember back in “old man football” times?

1eyedJack

September 6th, 2012
4:11 pm

Bad Dawg, if you’re so great at predicting the future, why don’t you pick the lotto numbers and go buy yourself an island somewhere?

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 6th, 2012
4:11 pm

It does no good to have a “pro style” offense if you are not calling pro style plays?

Joey

September 6th, 2012
4:15 pm

“Doing a damn good job and geting better.”
********************************
I like Richt, too, Go Dawgs!

But, that is pure BS. Richt’s “getting better” since when?

Richt’s first 8 seasons: 82% Winning % with 6-2 bowl record.

Richt’s last 3 seasons: 60% Winning % with 1-2 bowl record.

Last season was improvement, but only Richt’s 7th best record at UGA.

Hope he does get better this season.

Go Dawgs!

Alphare

September 6th, 2012
4:19 pm

1eye, you should really go back and check your own postings and see if you are braver than Bad Dawg in predicting dawgs, especially dawgs winning against Top25 teams.

jsmooth

September 6th, 2012
4:22 pm

@homey badger:
Get your facts straight, UGA has been in the SEC championship game 5 times and won it twice, in 2002 and 2005.

Joey

September 6th, 2012
4:22 pm

HoneyBadger, you’re forgetting that little 2005 spanking, huh?

Mark Richt had a great run from ‘02 through ‘05. The second half of ‘07 was great too, but, he just loses games he shouldn’t – every year.

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 6th, 2012
4:27 pm

jsmooth…when was the fifth SECCG for UGA? Your right, UGA won 2

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 6th, 2012
4:28 pm

Sorry guys…after 2005…gets a little blury with all of the disappointments except 2007 when UGA spanked Hawaii in Sugar Bowl

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 6th, 2012
4:30 pm

@ Joey, you are correct. Losing games we should not

Joey

September 6th, 2012
4:31 pm

jsmooth, it’s 2 wins in 4 tries in the SECCG for us.

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 6th, 2012
4:33 pm

jsmooth facts straight yet? 4 SECCG appearences under Richt.

Bad Dawg

September 6th, 2012
4:49 pm

1eyedjack, I can’t predict the future but I would bet the house that UGA loses in the SECCG to Alabama or LSU if they even make it. LSU is better than they were last year and Alabama is just as good. UGA has made little to no improvement. So I thinks it pretty safe to say that they will lose that game. Its like UGA vs. Buffalo everyone knew the outcome of that game beforehand and they didn’t need a crystal ball to see it.

Joey

September 6th, 2012
5:10 pm

Bad Dawg, if you are a UGA fan, we have made some improvements, especially in the offensive backfield and overall on the D. Unfortunately, almost half of our starters on D will be in jeans and jerseys in Columbia this Sat. With those guys, we win by 2 TDS.

Without them, it will be a toss-up.

Bad Dawg

September 6th, 2012
5:20 pm

Joey, Richt is going through the cycles again. Richt has already brought in the best QB, RB, and WR trio that UGA won’t see for a long time and he still couldn’t get the job done. Are Todd Gurley and Tavarres King any better than AJ Green and Knowshon Moreno. I do agree that the defense is better but its not elite and overrated by a lot of our fanbase. I have yet to see UGA shutdown a quality opponent. Will Grantham end up being better than Van Gorder? I have my doubts. Richt has done all he can. He won 2 SEC championships in 11 years and that is a pretty good accomplishment but there is nothing left for him to do here at UGA. He’s been surpassed by better coaches and its time UGA got a better coach too.

Under The Bleachers

September 6th, 2012
5:24 pm

Lets see…

Richt took over a program laden with NFL talent left and recruited by Donnan. Saw great success in his first 5 to 6 years with much of that talent.

Pinkel took over a program with little to No NFL caliber talent, poor facilities, no program foundation and at a school that is limited with instate High School Talent. He built the program and won in a conference that at times has been dominated by 2 or 3 schools and where Defense only applies to the Military bases inside the state of Missouri.

Common thread, No BCS titles, No BCS Championship appearances.

tony

September 6th, 2012
5:39 pm

The difference between Mr Richt and Pinkel is that Mr Richt is a very good recruiter but a terrible decision maker – Pinkel is a poor recruiter but a very good game manager.

Our superior athletes(4/5 stars) vs Pinkel efficient game management. Who will win?

Wilson

September 6th, 2012
6:17 pm

Under The Bleachers – Finally someone agrees with me that Richt did all his winning with Donnan’s recruits, and NOTHING with his own CRIMINALS. We have been going downhill ever since and I sure hoped that last year was going to be it for Richt, but alas we Georgians think last seasons cupcake wins was a GODSEND and are letting him and that idiot of an OC stick around for god who knows how long now. I always said we would never win a NC with Richt, and we won’t.

Bad Dawg

September 6th, 2012
6:27 pm

Good post Wilson. Its nice to know there are dawg fans other than the disneydawgs who want to see UGA do better on and off the field.

DawgJohn

September 6th, 2012
6:40 pm

It appears that Cummings, Rambo and Ogletree are all on the plane……….It’s not number of games that are consecutive…it’s % of season!!

wikki

September 6th, 2012
6:58 pm

5% of so called Georgia fans are uneducated and unappreciative of the job CMR has done. Some of these bloggers are more embarrassing to REAL Georgia fans than any off field issues that have happened lately.

1eyedJack

September 6th, 2012
7:11 pm

^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

A few dozen idiots who can post garbage for free on the AJC.