Q: What’s Mark Richt’s best coaching move from here?
A: Get out of coaching … for a year.
After spending 15 seasons in Athens, Richt looks burnt out. He sounds burnt out. He is fried. You can just see that the pressure of trying to get Georgia over the hump in the SEC has taken its toll. And when you’re toast, regardless of the career, the very worst thing you can do is jump at the first offer without some kind of a hiatus.
Despite getting the axe from the Bulldogs, Richt remains one of the top coaches in college football. He’ll be even better after taking a break from the grind, reconnecting with his family and just generally getting off the incessant merry-go-round of being a college coach in the country’s most demanding conference. Plus, now that USC has been filled, which are the truly great gigs left befitting a coach of Richt’s caliber? His alma mater, Miami? Do yourself a favor and stay away.
Take a breather, coach. You’ve been grinding for a very long time. Go be a free agent for a year. Desperate athletic directors love seasoned free agents, so your ask and your options are only going to improve between now and next November. Richt is just 55, so there’s plenty of time to get back into the game. There’s no hurry, and those in hiring positions won’t soon forget all of the good he did during his Georgia tenure.
Mark Richt to … Maryland?
Mark Richt is out at Georgia after being on the edge of the hot seat for what seems like a decade. That means there is a big fish of a coach now in the pond if the schools that have their fishing poles all baited and hooked want to go ahead and cast away.
Where he lands is the big guess right now, but some rumors are swirling around the place of worship in College Park, Maryland. But with any job, there are some good things and some not good things. So let’s dissect what’s appealing about the University of Maryland and what might take some getting used to.
Why He Might Go
Many see the Terrapin program as a sleeping giant. It sits in a hotbed recruiting area with the Baltimore and DC areas, and you’d think if Richt could get in there and use his name to keep the talent at home, there should be a good base to pull from.
There’s also the money coming in from the Big Ten now, and when you put that with the Under Armour contract and all the potential there, you could conceivably see a marriage similar to Oregon and Nike. This program should be better and it might just take a guy like Richt to get things rolling in the right direction.
Why He Might Not Go
Where’s the tradition? Where’s the facilities? Where’s the so-called turn-around we all thought was coming when Randy Edsall came to town? He was supposed to come in and use that same fertile recruiting ground to make the Terps much more competitive. It didn’t happen in an area where pro-sports are king.
On top of that, the athletic department has been in dire straits money-wise prior to joining the Big Ten which suggests a level of dysfunction. Heck, the athletic department gave Edsall a contract extension, then fired him during the very next season, just over eight months later. You saw Athletic Director Kevin Anderson at the post Edsall presser right? Would you want to work for that guy?