Last week we explored the pros and cons of Miami making a run at current Texas Head Coach Charlie Strong, and this profile kind of follows the same theme.
Like Strong, Richt is a big name coach at a big time University.
And just like in Austin, there are rumblings the marriage may be on its' last leg.
Hearing that #UGA power brokers & big dogs now asking questions/talking about potentially moving on--unlike ever before in Mark Richt era.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 2, 2015
His contract on the other hand, is not quite as lucrative as Strong's (more on that in a bit).
So why should the University of Miami consider the man who has been at the helm for the Bulldogs the past 14 years?
First a little more about him:
- Former QB at "The U" from 1979-82 (Backed up Jim Kelly).
- Started his coaching career at FSU as a graduate assistant from 1985-88.
- Spent one season as OC at East Carolina (1989).
- Served as the QB's Coach (1990-94) and later served as Offensive Coordinator (1995-2000) at Florida State. Coached two Heisman winners in Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke, and was part of 2 National Championship (93', 99') in that span.
- Took over at Georgia in 2001 where he has accrued a 141-51 (9-5 in Bowls) record, including 2 SEC Championships (2002, 2005). Won 10 or more games 7 times in his first 11 years.
- 2 time SEC Coach of the Year.
Okay, so on the surface he looks more than qualified.
But what are the strengths and weaknesses that Blake James and the BoT need to mull over if/when they make a run at Richt?
#1 Outstanding offensive coach, Knows how draw up a game plan and get his team to execute it. Also is renowned for developing young QB's.
#2 Coaching experience at FSU, as well as Georgia, should make him a strong recruiter in the South Florida area/overall. Recruited extremely well in Athens.
#3 Wins consistently - his record speaks for itself. Took over a program that was struggling before his arrival (no SEC titles in 20 years) and made them contenders.
#4 Terrific human being. Richt is a stand up guy and a classy leader. Both should be assets for any job, but considering the University of Miami's past issues, they especially make him very desirable in Coral Gables. Off the field character issues would not be a concern on Richt's watch.
#5 Is affordable considering his accomplishments. First of all of Georgia fires him there would be no concerns with buyouts etc. Richt is currently under contract through the 2017 season and makes about $3.2 million annually. Not too shabby but not Strong (5M) money. Miami can afford him if he is available.
#1 Is he too nice? Too even keeled? He's been very successful and perhaps this is a reach for a "weakness." But at the same time the Hurricanes program might need someone who comes in spitting fire. Richt's reputation is that of a great guy (think Tony Dungy demeanor). Is that a fit for what UM needs right now?
#2 Georgia has struggled of late in big games. Not that winning in the ultra competitive SEC is an easy chore. And UGA has had a lot of injuries to deal with the past few seasons. But bottom line, Richt and the Dawgs have not got it done in the monster match-ups the past few seasons regardless of the reasons.
#3 Age. He's 55. If we are going to look at Butch's age.... Personally I find it to be a very minor factor in both cases.
Summary: If Georgia decides to retain him, Miami has no shot. Richt is too loyal to leave on his own. Yeah, he's the rarest of guys. If they fire him, UM should take a long look. The man is a terrific coach, and a better person. Now the caveat here is that he brings someone aboard at DC who dramatically improves the 'Canes struggling D. Considering the issues on that side of the ball, I might prefer Strong among the two high profile coaches. But if Strong is too expensive or unavailable and they got Richt, he would be one hell of a consolation prize. If he can recruit and coach well enough to win 10+ games year in and year out in the SEC, perhaps he could do even more in the ACC.