By David Rosenberg of UGA Football Live
I watched Heisman winner Marcus Mariotta dismantle Florida State, who was being led by National Championship winning coach Jimbo Fisher. I watched Ohio State find a way to battle back against Alabama and arguably one of the greatest coaches in College Football history. I heard Nick Saban say something that seemed completely out of character for him. And when the demi-god of football coaches speaks, people listen. Saban said, “I don’t think you necessarily have to get a trophy to be a winner.” And all these events brought me right back around to thinking about Coach Mark Richt.
In fairness, Coach Richt doesn’t need my help. He doesn’t need me to come to his rescue or defend his character, honor, or record from the hoards of the unsatisfied. But fans are fickle. Have Georgia fans forgotten the end of the Dooley years, the Goff years, or the Donnan years? Richt has been a stabilizing force at UGA for 14 seasons and that means something. 6 SEC East Title and 2 SEC Titles. Guided the Bulldogs to 138 victories and only 48 losses in 14 seasons (74% winning percentage); and in 9 of those seasons his teams have amassed double-digit wins. The only item missing from Richt’s resume is a National Championship. I firmly believe Richt will get his title at some point; similarly to the path blazed by his mentor, Bobby Bowden.
The 2014 campaign had a great many highs and lows for the “Dawg Nation”! However, I cannot think of a better person to guide this team and help teach young men about how to handle adversity with dignity and class than Mark Richt.
In the coming days, we will breakdown the highlights and difficulties Richt and company experienced throughout the 2014 season. But after careful review and taking all issues into account, it is easy to see why on January 2, 2015, A.D. McGarity informed the UGA faithful that he and the Athletic Department are working with Mark Richt on a contract extension that will push his service well beyond 2017, when his current contract is set to end (See image below). I think it is safe to say that the University of Georgia football program and the student athletes under Mark Richt’s charge and tutelage are in very good hands.