A Big Number On The Richter Scale — Mark Richt Abruptly Retires From Coaching
If you thought 2018 was finally going to quietly leave the stage of history, you were wishing and hoping for something which wasn’t likely. This supremely crazy year, in sports and everywhere else — the year which began with Miami figuring out how to build on an Orange Bowl season — has ended with Mark Richt choosing to retire from coaching.
That’s the word out of Miami, where the Associated Press’s Tim Reynolds got straight to the point:
BREAKING: Mark Richt retires.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) December 30, 2018
Other sources also reported the news as well:
Mark Richt is retiring at 58 years old and has been coaching since 1985
He’s coached at just 4 places – Florida State, ECU, UGA and Miami
— Doug Samuels (@CoachSamz) December 30, 2018
The reasons for the decision are personal. This was not a firing. Many will speculate if it was a forced resignation. Some will say that Richt simply didn’t want to build something anew, which is essentially what he would have needed to do in 2019 after his program collapsed this year.
Without getting more immediate comments and reactions from the principals involved, one can reasonably say this with a considerable degree of confidence: The truth likely involves portions of the above statements. Forced resignation is one interpretation; lacking the stomach to rebuild is another.
The middle ground most people should be able to agree on: Richt probably would have needed to overhaul his staff and/or make changes he didn’t want to make. Richt envisioned a specific way in which he wanted to do things, and 2018 clearly eroded his leverage in the attempt to retain his preferred methodology.
Rather than fight internal battles, Richt walked away. That’s the fairest way to characterize this situation without additional details.
Richt leaves Miami having failed to finish what he started, and as horrible as this 2018 season was, it remains that Richt did deliver a 2017 campaign in which the Hurricanes finally made the ACC Championship Game for the first time in program history, removing a deficit which caused ample frustration among fans and alumni.
Richt did show in 2017 what Miami was capable of becoming again. That season — the Canes hope — will lure an elite coach to Coral Gables and begin a new era for The U.
Richt’s retirement marks the end of a very successful career. Richt might not have become a giant in college football coaching circles, but his career can’t be viewed in fundamentally negative terms.
Richt was a winner.
He might not have been an elite coach, but he was a very good coach, well above average. His biggest achievement in coaching was his 2002 SEC championship at Georgia. That title broke a 20-year SEC championship drought at the school, and Richt won another SEC crown at UGA in 2005.
Richt never made the BCS national championship bowl game as a head coach. He did coach in that game as Bobby Bowden’s offensive coordinator at Florida State. He did so in each of the first three bowl games to crown the BCS champion: the 1999 Fiesta Bowl against Tennessee, the 2000 Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech, and the 2001 Orange Bowl against Oklahoma.
Richt, at 58, is yet another high-profile coach who has retired from coaching before turning 60 years old. Bob Stoops of Oklahoma and, more recently, Urban Meyer of Ohio State, have also stepped away from the sport as head coaches.
Regardless of whether Meyer returns to coaching, it can’t be denied that this sport takes a toll on the men who coach it. Richt obviously had enough.
Now Miami must turn the page and find a worthy successor.
Will Canes turn things around in home opener?
The excitement behind first year Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz is quickly losing steam as the once ACC powerhouse has now found themselves as an unranked, middle of the pack team in their conference with an 0-2 record. Granted, they have had some bigger tests than most teams in the first two weeks of play, but still, there is too much talent on this team to have had such a lackluster start.
So, today has to be the day for Diaz to see some success as he heads into his first home game as the Canes head coach. Even if it’s against an FCS team, it will give the Canes the boost they need to turn the season around. They have a lot of young talent who can certainly bring Miami back to its state of prominence and there is still a lot to be hopeful for as they head into their first kickoff in Hard Rock Stadium this season.
History is certainly on Miami’s side. In their all time series with Bethune-Cookman University, Miami has a perfect 4-0 mark against the Wildcats, winning all four games by 3o points or more. Also, Miami has not lost a home opener since 2006, and have emerged victorious in its last 12 home openers, most recently, a shoutout 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State last season.
Amidst the two early losses, RS Freshman QB Jarren Williams has looked strong. In his first ever collegiate start against Top 10 ranked Florida, Williams finished 19-for-30 for 214 yards and 1 TD. He looked even better in week two against ACC opponent North Carolina, throwing for 309 yards on 30-for-39 passing with two touchdowns and no picks. He’ll likely put up even bigger numbers today against a significantly weaker defense. He’s now the ranked fourth among ACC Quarterbacks.
Williams also has strong targets in RB DeeJay Dallas who rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per rush vs. UNC, as well as TE Brevin Jordan who leads the team with 161 receiving yards (80.5 per game).
On the defensive end, Miami has one the best linebacker trios in college football right now with Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney & Shaq Quarterman. These three have started nearly every game together since arriving to University of Miami as early enrollees in 2016.
UM’s starting offensive line now has three freshman. True freshman LT Zion Nelson, redshirt freshman RT John Campbell, Jr. and true freshman Jakai Clark who made his first start against the Tar Heels. The young UM offensive line looked much improved in week two, but they still allowed four sacks and aren’t up to the caliber they need to be to be considered a solid offensive line. However, facing a FCS level opponent like Bethune-Cookman, the starting five on the offensive line should be able to grow confident together this week.
Should Miami be upset with the way they’ve started this season, for sure. But, the 0-2 start does not have to reflect what the rest of the year will look like. This week is the perfect opportunity for the teams nine new starters so far this season to get more comfortable and build some confidence, and get the second string guys playing time to give the team more depth all around.
Even with defeat Canes legend Irvin passionate about future
MIAMI IS BACK!!!! Well, at least they are, according to Hurricanes legendary WR Michael Irvin and a social media post Monday morning.
First, Irvin was seen getting Canes fans hyped at a rally Friday night prior to Miami’s opening loss to rival Florida in Orlando Saturday night:
MICHAEL IRVIN IS READY FOR MIAMI VS. FLORIDA
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 24, 2019
Irvin was also a guest on ESPN’s “College Gameday” show at Disney World and got very animated on Saturday morning with Gators legend/Heisman winner, Tim Tebow:
— ESPN (@espn) August 24, 2019
Well, despite the hype, the Hurricanes played a sloppy game with lots of penalties and turnovers. Some of this was to be expected with a first year head coach in Manny Diaz and a redshirt freshman QB making his first start in Jarren Williams. As we wrote though, Williams showed promise at times despite sacks and misfires, at times for the offense.
Well, Irvin was back on social media Monday (apparently after a morning workout) and wanted Canes fans to know he is encouraged and to keep that same energy even after the loss:
— Michael Irvin (@michaelirvin88) August 26, 2019
In the :60 post, Irvin made it very clear that the Canes “gave it to the Gators,” and he was so adamant about that, he even said it twice. He was also very encouraged about the way his team played, especially with multiple freshmen on the O-line and a young QB.
“If it weren’t for a few mistakes, the Canes would have walked away with the win!,” Irvin emphasized.
Irvin, who was a two time All American receiver for the Gators in the 80s, part of the 1987 National Championship team and later a Pro Football Hall of Famer with the Cowboys, was a good sport and congratulated the Gators. But, he did leave us with a great quote to end his speech,
“I don’t care what ya’ll say, we will never die. We will never quit, and we will never go anywhere. So, eat that on your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plate.”
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