UGA coach Mark Richt’s long and successful career with the Bulldogs has come to an abrupt end.
After 15 years with the program, Richt has been fired at the end of a 9-3 regular season. The school released a statement calling the decision a “mutual” one and noting that the coach had “agreed that he would step down,” but first reports labeled the move a firing. Either way, this much is clear: Richt’s days at UGA are over.
“Coach Richt and I met Sunday morning to discuss the status of our football program,” said UGA athletic director Greg McGarity said in the statement. “And we mutually agreed that he would step down as head coach and would have the opportunity to accept other duties and responsibilities at UGA following the bowl game.”
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach has reported that Richt will indeed coach UGA in its upcoming bowl game, wherever that may be.
“I appreciate the opportunity of serving the University as well as considering any other options that may present themselves in the future,” Richt said in the statement.
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Richt compiled a 145-51 overall record with the Bulldogs, including two SEC Championships in 2002 and 2005. He has overseen nine 10-win seasons in Athens, Ga., and would have a shot at reaching a 10th should the Bulldogs indeed win one final Richt-coached bowl game.
“Mark has touched thousands of lives over the past 15 years — he has a huge heart and his positive influence has affected many people, young and old,” McGarity said. “We will never actually know how many people were positively impacted by a comforting phone call, a sympathetic or uplifting note, an autographed football or photo — he had the unique ability to shine a bright light on others when they needed it most.”
You can read the full UGA statement here.
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