Mark Richt Is A Good Dude

By Johnny Ginter on July 13, 2014 at 6:01p

Mark Richt has always struck me as an interesting personality in the SEC. He's cut from the stereotypical blown out hair and polo shirt mold that you see so often in college football coaches, but somehow he's been able to avoid the stink that seems to follow SEC coaches for various reasons. This article from helps explain why.

The phone rang as Mark Richt was wrapping up work, preparing for the biggest game of the year. Richt answered, and quickly realized his night was far from over.


Richt hastily called a few staffers, and they raced to his house and met the player. They talked deep into the night, then put him in touch with someone who could help.

Two days later, ninth-ranked Georgia beat sixth-ranked LSU. In the locker room afterwards, Richt sobbed.

A few months later, Richt sat in the football coaches meeting room, in what they call the war room. This time it was not coaches at the table but businessmen. They would form a secret and select group that would be aimed at giving former players a life after football, a direction after the original dream ended.

It would be called the Paul Oliver Network, after the former defensive back who shot himself in front of his family the previous September, distraught about the end of his career.

A person with knowledge of the meeting remembers Richt tearing up again, pounding the table and saying, “I don’t want this to happen to another one of my boys.”

What's funny to me is that if you give guys this help as active players, you're screwing over your program in the eyes of the NCAA. Provide them this help one second after they lose eligibility, you're in the clear.

Regardless, congrats to Mark Richt for recognizing such a huge area of need and doing something incredibly positive about it.


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Props to Mark Richt. I wonder how many other coaches in the FBS have passed on similar events happening to 'their' student athletes. This makes me appreciate what Urbz has been doing that much more with his real-life series for the players.  My jadedness is sad to see that Mark Emmert can't move faster on these important issues to not just throw rules and lawers at the problem, but to fundamentally rebuild what the NCAA should provide its student athletes. 

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

Habu71's picture

Props indeed to coach Richt. Interesting to me is the fact that coach Tressel is the same type of man. Before watching the 30 for 30 Youngstown Boys, I wasn't aware that Maurice Clarett was prepared to play at YSU because he knew the coach genuinely cared. It's refreshing to hear these type of stories, yet sad to know that coach Tressel's legacy was so terribly damaged. 

+3 HS
DudeNick4's picture

I've always admired Coach Richt. He has proven time and again to be a class act. 

+3 HS
BrewstersMillions's picture

If any SEC coach has to win the big one, I do hope its Richt. Lots of stories out there about him being a pretty grade A dude.

+3 HS
Unky Buck's picture

I absolutely agree. I've always liked him and I know I said last year before the season that Georgia, with Richt as the coach, has always come off as the most likable SEC program and that's due to him. I heard a few southern friends, fans of other SEC schools, lash back and say it's all a facade, but the more I read, the more I don't buy it. He's alright in my book.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

+1 HS
Berniebucks78's picture

Richt is the man! I gained a lot of respect for him when I heard what he and his wife did for two Ukrainian children with little chance of a future.

"Indecision may (or may not) be my downfall."

+1 HS
AGAB's picture

Great article !! I totally agree. I live in SEC land and outside of Les MIles, MR is probably the only other coach  in that conference that truly cares about his players. The problem for Richt is the UGA fanbase, which definitely does not appreciate the fact that he is a person of great integrity. Year after year, fans down here are always calling for the guy's scalp. Although  I know it is an unrealistic wish, it would be super if he left UGA and its fickle fans and come to coach in B1G where he  would be respected for the sincere person that he is..

+1 HS
CTBuckeye's picture

I'm a big Mark Richt fan - my wife is an UGA alum so we catch most Georgia games as well during the season.  I think the criticism he received a few years back was undeserved - what he adds to that team and the SEC in general is well beyond just the win/loss column, so I hope he stays at the school for a lot longer.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

+1 HS
BuckminsterFullback's picture

Up until now, my impression of Mark Richt was (unfavorably) defined by the intentional excessive celebration penalties vs. Florida.

I suppose there's a lesson there... we form opinions about players and coaches, but we see only small glimpses of the total picture.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

That celebration against UF is the reason i've always liked him.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+1 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

I like Richt. Always been a good guy in my book.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

toad1204's picture

So he's kicking guys off the team that run into trouble (the way he's supposed to,) adopting orphans, and making sure his players have a good life after fooseball.  Les Miles and Nicki Saban need to take notes.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+2 HS
703Buckeye's picture

Just another reason I want OSU to put Georgia back on the schedule. Props to Coach Richt for being a great role model to his players. 

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+1 HS