Mark Richt Taking the Miami (FL) Job
February 18, 1960|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1985–1988||Florida State (GA)|
|1989||East Carolina (OC)|
|1990–1993||Florida State (QB)|
|1994–2000||Florida State (OC/QB)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|National Championships (1993, 1999)|
|Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award (2017)|
Mark Allan Richt (born February 18, 1960) is an American football coach and former player. He is the head football coach at the University of Miami, his alma mater, and recipient of the 2017 Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award.
Richt played college football as a quarterback at Miami. His previous coaching affiliations include 14 years at Florida State University where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Bobby Bowden, a year as offensive coordinator at East Carolina University, and 15 years as head coach at the University of Georgia. He has the third highest winning percentage among active FBS Division 1 coaches who have coached 200 or more games and has produced 93 draft picks (second highest).
Early years and playing career
Richt was raised in a blue collar family, the second oldest of five children. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Lou and Helen Richt. Lou worked as a tool-and-die maker for Western Electric. In 1967, the Richt family moved to Boulder, Colorado when Lou got a new job. In 1973, Lou was transferred to South Florida where Mark would graduate from high school.
Richt became a star athlete at Boca Raton High and was called “All Turnpike’’ because of the various awards he received around the state of Florida. As a high school quarterback, he was recruited by the University of Miami, Florida State University, and Brown University. He chose to attend the University of Miami, an hour south from his family.
College & professional career
Richt played at the University of Miami from 1978–1982. Under coach Howard Schnellenberger, Richt was backup to future Pro Football Hall of Fame first round quarterback Jim Kelly. In later years at Miami, other first round Miami quarterbacks he played alongside included Heisman trophy recipient Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar. He was mentored by quarterbacks coach Earl Morrall. Despite limited playing time, Richt still amassed nearly 1,500 passing yards. The 1981 Miami Hurricanes team finished 9–2, ranked 8th in the country, while the 1980 team finished 9–3, ranked 18th in the country. Richt received interest from multiple NFL teams and briefly spent time with the Denver Broncos behind John Elway.
Florida State University (1985–1988)
East Carolina University (1989)
At the age of 29, Richt was hired as the offensive coordinator at East Carolina University. Richt was hired by Bill Lewis, who had previously been defensive coordinator at Georgia. Lewis hired Richt from Florida State in part to help with recruiting.
Florida State University (1990–2000)
After one year at East Carolina, Bowden brought Richt back to Florida State to serve as the Seminoles' quarterbacks coach. Richt was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1994 upon the departure of Brad Scott. Under Richt, Florida State had one of college football's most explosive offenses. In his seven years as offensive coordinator, the Seminoles ranked in the nation’s top five scoring offenses for five seasons, they were top twelve in total offense for five seasons, and top twelve in passing offense for five seasons. Richt coached two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks: Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke. Richt coached a total of six FSU quarterbacks to the NFL, including Ward, Weinke, Brad Johnson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Danny Kanell (New York Giants), Danny McManus (Kansas City Chiefs) and Peter Tom Willis (Chicago Bears). During this period, FSU won seven consecutive ACC titles and two national championships (1993 and 1999).
University of Georgia (2001–2015)
Richt was hired as head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs before the 2001 season, replacing Jim Donnan. Richt's teams won two Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships (2002 and 2005), six SEC Eastern Division titles (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2012), and nine bowl games. His teams represented the SEC in three BCS bowl appearances with a record of 2–1, and finished in the top ten of the final AP Poll seven times (2002–2005, 2007, 2012, 2014). His 2008 team also finished in the top ten of the coaches poll.
2015 season and dismissal
The 2015 Georgia Bulldogs football team were the favorites to win the SEC Eastern Division. The Bulldogs started the season 4–0 with SEC wins over Vanderbilt by a score of 31–14 and South Carolina by a score of 52–20. On October 3, eventual national champion Alabama came to Athens and defeated the Bulldogs by a score of 38–10. Georgia then had two additional conference losses to Florida and Tennessee. Georgia finished the regular season 9–3 after a four-game winning streak, including road wins over Auburn by a score of 20–13 and Georgia Tech by a score of 13–7.
University of Miami (2015–present)
Richt serves as the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes and calls all offensive plays. He works closely with quarterbacks at practice, alongside his oldest son and quarterbacks coach, Jon Richt. In his second year as head coach, he helped Miami win its first ACC Coastal title. Richt was named ACC Coach of the Year for this achievement.
Fan reaction to signing
After leaving Georgia, Richt was named the head coach of the Hurricanes of the University of Miami, his alma mater. Richt made the announcement on December 4, 2015. Instead of saying he was leaving his home in Georgia, he said he was coming home: “My wife and I can tell you this: This is our home. We love it." "I have no intention of doing anything but finishing my coaching career at Miami." Richt graduated from high school in Palm Beach County, an hour north of campus.
Fans embraced Richt's arrival in strong numbers. Before the opener of his first season, the Hurricanes surpassed 40,000 season ticket sales, the highest amount since they started playing at Hard Rock Stadium in 2008. The Hurricane Club (UM Athletics's booster club) also sprung to a record level of members and donations.
Howard Schnellenberger called Richt's signing “a marriage made in heaven." Miami Heisman alumni Vinny Testaverde, noted "I know he's going to be a great role model for my boy, for our kids, he's going to be a great person and a great teacher...And that's what these kids need." “I was shocked that Georgia let him go. But their loss is Miami’s gain." Testaverde's son Vincent is a backup quarterback on the team.
Off the field
Shortly after joining Miami, Richt began spearheading a campaign to raise money for a new indoor practice facility. In May 2016, he told University of Miami boosters in Chicago he was donating $1 million of his own money towards the campaign, "I'm not just giving lip service to (making Miami great), that I truly believe it and I'm willing to invest my life in a lot of ways and our resources, too."
Four months later, athletic director Blake James announced the new $34 million practice facility would be slated to open in 2018. The practice facility includes an 80,000 square-foot indoor practice field as well as a 20,000 square-foot football operations center. The operations center will house coaches' offices on a mezzanine level, team meeting rooms, position meeting rooms and a recruiting suite, and have a direct connection to the Hurricanes weight room and locker room.
Upon the facility opening, Richt told ESPN “I didn’t come here just because it was my alma mater. I came here because you can win. If you do things right and get the support you need, you can win. It’s been proven. The players have always been here. You just have to make sure you get the right ones, and a lot of the other things they used to ding us on, our facilities and things like that, they’re not going to be able to do that anymore with this brand-new building and the improvements to Hard Rock Stadium.”
Each Thursday during football season, Richt visits with local youth football teams. He has stated that he wants to visit the teams at all the parks in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County. Richt also developed a partnership with the American Youth Football League to instruct youth coaches and players via regional clinics. The partnership further provides AYFL's coaches with a customized concussion protocol (in collaboration with UHealth Sports Medicine) that assists coaches with overall safety.
Tolbert Bain, a starter on the national champion 1987 team works regularly with South Florida Youth leagues and helped Richt to develop the outreach. Richt told ESPN, "I'd do this either way, but in my view, it's also building for UM's future. I plan to finish my coaching career at Miami."
"U" Network for University of Miami Football Alumni
In July 2016, Richt and his wife Katharyn announced that they will be launching ‘The U Network’. “The U Network is going to be designed to help guys find work when their playing days are over whether it’s right after college or after their pro days. My wife is going to be the person kind of facilitating everything—all of the paperwork and all of the things it will take to connect people with events and connecting players with employers. It’s also going to be about reunion and connection, but the main goal is finding work for these guys and I’m talking about the guys who truly want work. We’re not just going to give somebody something. They’ve got to do their part, but sometimes all they need is a little bit of help of guidance, connection, and networking.”
"(Coach) Richt is asking players to commit three, four or five years, the most important years of their lives to him and this program," said Don Bailey Jr., Richt's former teammate. "In turn, he's committing to them to make sure their professional life is forever secure after football. I think it's the ultimate payback."
High school recruiting
Despite joining the program with less than eight weeks before signing day, ESPN praised Richt for managing to recruit the 18th best class in the country. During this period, Richt was limited to three weeks of NCAA-allotted face time with recruits. Within two years, Richt had assembled the #2 recruiting class in the nation and had more committed players (18) than any FBS program before the early signing day period.
Richt strongly opposes oversigning, a practice popular in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) that often results in older or hurt players losing their football scholarships. He believes that when a team offers a scholarship, it is a four-year commitment from the university. University of Miami athletes receive lifetime scholarships, allowing players who elect to leave before their graduation to return and complete their diploma.
In 2018, Richt told ESPN that due to the nature of trust in recruiting, he feels that it is unethical to pursue other jobs since the head coach is offering a long term commitment to his players: "I never once have tried to leverage another job for more money. I don’t think that’s right. The day we took the job, my mentality has always been, ‘If you’re the head coach, too many lives depend on you.’ If I just say on a whim, ‘You know, I think I’d rather go here,’ well, all these recruits you said something to, all these coaches you said something to, what about them? Every time you hire a coach, you’re taking the coach, his wife and his kids on an adventure. They’re trusting you and believing in you enough to become a staff member. I don’t want to just walk into a room and say, ‘Hey, guys, thanks for helping me get to where I really want to be.’ It’s the same thing with these kids. They’ve had enough disappointment, enough men leave their lives. You’re trying to build trust, and then you bolt on them because of money or because of whatever? I’ve just never been able to get past that part of it.”
Richt hosts "Paradise Camp", a summer football camp at UM for high school players. Prospects with offers and commitments are encouraged to attend. The camp is branded to highlight the benefits of playing and living in Miami's "paradise". The camp is open to individuals entering grades 9th -12th, prep students, junior college students, & 4 year college transfers. Miami charges the absolute allowable minimum for its on-campus camps. Richt regularly brings in UM NFL alumni as coaches:
In Richt's first season at Miami, the team finished 9–4, including a victory over West Virginia in the 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl. The team finished #20 nationally in the AP College Football Poll.
In 2017, Richt received the Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award as the Hurricanes peaked nationally with a No. 2 ranking after 16 consecutive wins, clinching the ACC Coastal title. Miami started off 1-0, before having to sit idle for three weeks because of Hurricane Irma. The game on Sept. 9 against Arkansas State was cancelled and the Sept. 16 rivalry match-up with Florida State was postponed until Oct. 7. While campus was temporarily closed following the hurricane, the Hurricanes practiced at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. At the eventual Florida State rivalry game, the Hurricanes pulled off a last-minute score to win the contest and rose to #11 in the AP College Football Poll. The team went on to defeat No. 14 Virginia Tech and No. 3 Notre Dame which allowed them to secure the ACC Coastal title on November 11th despite two remaining conference games. Miami climbed to No. 2 in the CFP rankings before losing to Pitt and No. 1 Clemson in the ACC title game.
Personal life and family
Richt is married to the former Katharyn Francis of Tallahassee, Florida. They live two miles from campus in Coconut Grove. Katharyn finished a nursing degree in 2016. In 2011, they sold their Georgia lake house, valued at nearly $2 million, and announced they intended to contribute more to charity. They have also taken several mission trips abroad. The couple has four children: Jonathan (born March 11, 1990), David (born December 1, 1994), and two children they adopted from Ukraine in 1999, Zach (born May 15, 1996), and Anya (born February 13, 1997), who was born with a rare disorder known as proteus syndrome. Jonathan works under Mark as the quarterbacks coach for the Hurricanes.
Richt is a devout Christian. His staff is a mix of religious backgrounds.
ESPN's College GameDay featured a documentary on October 25, 2008 titled "GameDay looks at the Richt family's adoption of a young boy and girl from Ukraine" detailing the Richts' personal story of the adoption of their two youngest children Zach and Anya. The Richts declined on several occasions to publicly share their adoption story before deciding to proceed with the hope that it would encourage other families to explore the rewards of adoption.
Richt appeared in the 2006 movie Facing the Giants as the former coach of the movie's main character, Grant Taylor.
Head coaching record
|Georgia Bulldogs (Southeastern Conference) (2001–2015)|
|2001||Georgia||8–4||5–3||T–3rd (Eastern)||L Music City||25||22|
|2002||Georgia||13–1||7–1||1st (Eastern)||W Sugar†||3||3|
|2003||Georgia||11–3||6–2||T–1st (Eastern)||W Capital One||6||7|
|2004||Georgia||10–2||6–2||2nd (Eastern)||W Outback||6||7|
|2005||Georgia||10–3||6–2||1st (Eastern)||L Sugar†||10||10|
|2006||Georgia||9–4||4–4||T–3rd (Eastern)||W Chick-fil-A||23|
|2007||Georgia||11–2||6–2||T–1st (Eastern)||W Sugar†||3||2|
|2008||Georgia||10–3||6–2||2nd (Eastern)||W Capital One||10||13|
|2009||Georgia||8–5||4–4||T–2nd (Eastern)||W Independence|
|2010||Georgia||6–7||3–5||T–3rd (Eastern)||L Liberty|
|2011||Georgia||10–4||7–1||1st (Eastern)||L Outback||18||18|
|2012||Georgia||12–2||7–1||T–1st (Eastern)||W Capital One||4||5|
|2013||Georgia||8–5||5–3||3rd (Eastern)||L Gator|
|2014||Georgia||10–3||6–2||2nd (Eastern)||W Belk||9||9|
|2015||Georgia||9–3||5–3||T–2nd (Eastern)||W TaxSlayer*||25|
|Miami Hurricanes (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2016–present)|
|2016||Miami||9–4||5–3||T–2nd (Coastal)||W Russell Athletic||23||20|
|2017||Miami||10–3||7–1||1st (Coastal)||L Orange†||13||13|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
- Richt did not coach Georgia in the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl. The ranking reflects Georgia's ranking in the final regular season coaches poll.
Assistant coaches under Mark Richt who became NCAA head coaches:
- "UGA Coach Mark Richt to Step Down". UGA Sports. November 29, 2015.
- "Winningest Active Coaches". www.coacheshotseat.com. Retrieved 2017-12-15.
- "CornDawgs: Richt's family balances love for Georgia, Nebraska". Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- "Tragedy played big role in evolution of UM coach Mark Richt". Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- "Mark Richt Bio". Archived from the original on September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- "Tragedy played big role in evolution of UM coach Mark Richt". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- "East Carolina Coaching Change Has Ripple Effect On Florida Football". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- "2008 Final Football Polls - College Poll Archive - Historical College Football and Basketball Polls and Rankings". College Poll Archive. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
- "Richt, Georgia parting ways after 15 seasons". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- "Miami's Richt Voted ACC Football Coach of the Year". theacc.com. The Atlantic Coast Conference. November 28, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- "Miami makes hiring of Mark Richt official". ESPN. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- "New football coach Mark Richt is happy to be home at the University of Miami". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- Labar, Sean. "Catching up with Miami's Mark Richt – HERO Sports". herosports.com. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- "Miami Surpasses 40,000 Season Tickets". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- "After rejuvenating UM football faithful, Mark Richt aims to bring back wins". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- "'We're going to get to work:' Former Miami QB Mark Richt takes over the 'Canes". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- "Mark Richt donating $1 million toward Hurricanes indoor practice facility | Canes Watch". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- "Hurricanes to unveil plans for new $30M facility". Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- "Miami Hurricanes football set to reveal indoor practice facility details | Canes Watch". Retrieved September 20, 2016.
- "Mark Richt on his way to restoring Miami to its former glory". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
- "What does Mark Richt say when he speaks to young football players? | Canes Watch". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- "Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt spreading good will to Broward youth football | Eye on the U". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- "Can Mark Richt make Miami cool again?". Retrieved 2016-10-05.
- "Miami Herald". account.miamiherald.com. Retrieved 2018-05-17. (Subscription required.)
- "'U Network': Mark Richt to establish support system for Hurricanes players | Canes Watch". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- "Miami football: Mark Richt wants to help former Hurricanes excel with his U Network". NCAA.com. 2017-08-07. Archived from the original on 2017-08-23. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- Writer, By Matt Porter – Palm Beach Post Staff. "Signing Day 2016: Mark Richt's first Miami class a success". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- "UM's recruiting class continues to raise eyebrows; Richt addresses issues". miamiherald. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
- "Miami's Mark Richt cautiously optimistic about signing day change". palmbeachpost. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- Munzenrieder, Kyle (2014-08-29). "University of Miami Quietly Helped Pioneer Lifetime Scholarships for Student Athletes". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- "Mark Richt on his way to restoring Miami to its former glory". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
- "Welcome to Mark Right football camp". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- "Rivals.com - How Mark Richt is changing Miami's recruiting perception". 2017-07-19. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
- "2016 UM Paradise Camp". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- Chiari, Mike. "AP College Football Poll 2016-17: Final Top 25 Rankings After CFP Championship". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
- "CBS analyst Rick Neuheisel says UM's Mark Richt has done 'best coaching job' this season". palmbeachpost. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
- "Mark Richt's wife will be highly involved with Miami Hurricanes | Canes Watch". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- "GameDay looks at the Richt family's adoption of a young boy and girl from the Ukraine". espn.com.
- "Seminoles Run Recalls Strong FCA Roots".
- "Mark Richt: A Protege of Football's Finest".
- Writer, By Matt Porter – Palm Beach Post Staff. "Players, coaches, parents like UM coach's mix of faith, football". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- The Richt Family's Life-Long Commitment – ESPN Video – ESPN
- "Facing The Giants - In Theatres Now". www.facingthegiants.com.