Richt: ‘Not in the plans’ to ever coach again

Field Level Media

April 21, 2019 at 12:55 am.

Former Georgia Bulldogs and Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt said Saturday that he doesn’t envision himself coaching again.

The 59-year-old Richt quit after his third season in Miami in the wake of the Hurricanes’ 35-3 rout at the hands of Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27. Miami went 26-13 in his three seasons in Miami, winning one bowl game and losing two.

Richt’s comments, his first publicly since he left the Hurricanes, came in Orlando, Fla., where he announced his new job as a studio analyst for the ACC Network.

Richt said it felt like the “right time” to leave Miami and that it’s “not in the plans” to coach again.

“There’s no easy time to do it, for sure,” Richt said, emphasizing that it wasn’t something that he had considered before or even during the season. “Especially when you’re the head coach. That’s the hardest part is how it affected other people. I felt it was the right time for me as a person, and I felt like Miami would be in better hands.”

The Hurricanes endured offensive struggles in going 7-6 last season on the heels of a 10-3 season in 2017. Though Richt, who called the offensive plays, declined to say whether those issues contributed to his decision to leave, he emphasized that he was not ordered to dismiss any members of his coaching staff. Among his assistants was his son, Jon, the quarterbacks coach.

At that time, Miami athletic director Blake James said Richt’s decision to leave came as a surprise to him, as well.

“The decision for Mark to retire is his and his alone,” James said at a news conference immediately after Richt’s announcement to retire. “While my tweet after our bowl game noted our performance was unacceptable, I also tweeted that Mark and I were committed to fixing it and that those discussions had already begun. At no time did I or anyone at Miami ask for or suggest that Mark step down.”

On Saturday, Richt was trying to keep the focus on the future.

“I’m really excited about this ACC Network opportunity,” Richt said. “And I think I can help the fans enjoy the game more and understand the game more, and it allows me to keep staying involved with this game of football. And it also gives me time to see our grandchildren more and our own children. So right now, I’m mostly focused on that.”

Richt’s teams went 171-64 in 18 seasons, the first 15 with the Bulldogs.

Manny Diaz, Richt’s defensive coordinator who left Miami to take over as head coach at Temple three weeks before Richt stepped down, returned to Miami as head coach.