Mark Richt

Mark Richt

Mark Richt, University of Miami Hurricanes
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Miami (FL)
Conference ACC
Record 8–4
Biographical details
Born (1960-02-18) February 18, 1960
Omaha, Nebraska
Alma mater University of Miami
Playing career
1979–1982 Miami (FL)
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1985–1988 Florida State (GA)
1989 East Carolina (OC)
1990–2000 Florida State (OC/QB)
2001–2015 Georgia
2016–present Miami (FL)
Head coaching record
Overall 153–55
Bowls 9–5
Accomplishments and honors
2 SEC (2002, 2005)
5 SEC Eastern Division (2002–2003, 2005, 2011–2012)
SEC Coach of the Year (2002, 2005)

Mark Allan Richt (born February 18, 1960) is an American football coach and former player. He is the head football coach at the University of Miami, his alma mater.

Richt played college football as a quarterback at Miami. His previous coaching affiliations include 14 years at Florida State University where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Bobby Bowden, a year as offensive coordinator at East Carolina University, and 15 years as head coach at the University of Georgia.[1]

Early years and playing career

Mark Richt was raised from a blue collar family of seven, the second oldest of five siblings. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Lou & Helen Richt.[2] Lou worked as a tool-and-die maker for Western Electric. In 1967, the Richt family moved to Boulder, Colorado when Lou got a new job. In 1973, Lou was transferred to South Florida where Mark would graduate from high school.

Mark Richt became a star athlete at Boca Raton High and was called “All Turnpike’’ because of the various awards he received around the state of Florida. As a high school quarterback, he was recruited by the University of Miami, Florida State University, and Brown University. He chose to attend the University of Miami, an hour south from his family.[3]


Richt played at the University of Miami from 1978–1982. Under national champion coach Howard Schnellenberger, Richt was backup to Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. In later years at Miami, other Miami quarterbacks he played alongside included Heisman trophy recipient Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar. He was mentored by quarterbacks coach Earl Morrall. Despite limited playing time, Richt still amassed nearly 1,500 passing yards.[4] The 1981 Miami Hurricanes team finished 9–2, ranked 8th in the country, while the 1980 team finished 9–3, ranked 18th in the country. Richt received interest from multiple NFL teams, but did not sign with any.[3]

Coaching career

Florida State University (1985 - 1988)

Richt began his coaching career after being offered a job by Bobby Bowden as a graduate assistant for the Florida State Seminoles. Bowden had recruited Richt as a high school quarterback, however Richt ultimately chose to attend the University of Miami.[5]

East Carolina University (1989)

At the age of 29, Richt was hired as the offensive coordinator at East Carolina University. Richt was hired by Bill Lewis, who had previously been defensive coordinator at Georgia. Lewis hired Richt from Florida State in part to help with recruiting.[6]

Florida State University (1990 - 2000)

After one year at East Carolina, Bowden brought Richt back to Florida State to serve as the Seminoles' quarterbacks coach. Richt was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1994 upon the departure of Brad Scott. Under Richt, Florida State had one of college football's most explosive offenses. In his seven years as offensive coordinator, the Seminoles ranked in the nation’s top five scoring offenses for five seasons, they were top twelve in total offense for five seasons, and top twelve in passing offense for five seasons. Richt coached two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke. Richt coached a total of six FSU quarterbacks to the NFL, including Ward, Weinke, Brad Johnson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Danny Kanell (New York Giants), Danny McManus (Kansas City Chiefs) and Peter Tom Willis (Chicago Bears). During this period, FSU won two national championships (1993 and 1999).[7]

University of Georgia (2001 - 2015)

Richt was hired as head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs before the 2001 season, replacing Jim Donnan. Richt's teams won two Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships (2002 and 2005), six SEC Eastern Division titles (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2012), and nine bowl games. His teams represented the SEC in three BCS bowl appearances with a record of 2–1, and finished in the top ten of the final AP Poll seven times (2002–2005, 2007, 2012, 2014). His 2008 team also finished in the top ten of the coaches poll.

Richt went 19–3 against Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponents while at Georgia.[8]

2015 season and dismissal

The 2015 Georgia Bulldogs football team was the favorite to win the SEC Eastern Division. The Bulldogs started the season 4–0 with SEC wins over Vanderbilt 31–14 and South Carolina 52–20. On October 3, eventual national champion Alabama came to Athens and defeated the Bulldogs 38–10. Georgia then had two additional conference losses to the Florida and Tennessee. Georgia finished the regular season 9–3 after a four-game winning streak, including road wins over Auburn 20–13 and Georgia Tech 13–7. The day after the Georgia Tech game, Richt was dismissed after 15 seasons as head coach for failing to reach the SEC championship that year. He was named head coach at the University of Miami shortly after.[9]

University of Miami (2015 - Present)

Richt serves as the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes and calls all offensive plays. He works closely with quarterbacks at practice, alongside his oldest son and quarterbacks coach, John Richt.

Fan Reaction to Signing

After leaving Georgia, Richt became the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes at the University of Miami, his alma mater. Richt made the announcement on December 4, 2015.[10] Instead of saying he was leaving his home in Georgia, he said he was coming home: “My wife and I can tell you this: This is our home. We love it."[11] "I have no intention of doing anything but finishing my coaching career at Miami."[12] Richt graduated from high school in Palm Beach County, an hour north of campus.

Fans embraced Richt's arrival in strong numbers. Before the opener of his first season, the Hurricanes surpassed 40,000 season ticket sales, the highest amount since they started playing at Hard Rock Stadium in 2008.[13] The Hurricane Club (UM Athletics's booster club) also sprung to a record level of members and donations.[14]

Howard Schnellenberger called Richt's signing “a marriage made in heaven."[14] Miami Heisman alumni Vinny Testaverde, noted "I know he's going to be a great role model for my boy, for our kids, he's going to be a great person and a great teacher...And that's what these kids need."[8] “I was shocked that Georgia let him go. But their loss is Miami’s gain."[5] Testaverde's son Vincent is a backup quarterback on the team.

Off the field

Fundraising Success

Shortly after joining Miami, Richt began spearheading a campaign to raise money for a new indoor practice facility. In May 2016, he told University of Miami boosters in Chicago he was donating $1 million of his own money towards the campaign,[15] "I'm not just giving lip service to (making Miami great), that I truly believe it and I'm willing to invest my life in a lot of ways and our resources, too."[16]

Four months later, athletic director Blake James announced the new $34 million practice facility would be slated to open in 2018.[17] The practice facility includes a 80,000 square-foot indoor practice field as well as a 20,000 square-foot football operations center. The operations center will house coaches' offices on a mezzanine level, team meeting rooms, position meeting rooms and a recruiting suite, and have a direct connection to the Hurricanes weight room and locker room.[16]

Community Relations

Each Thursday during football season, Richt visits with local youth football teams. He has stated that he wants to visit the teams at all the parks in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County.[18] Richt also developed a partnership with the American Youth Football League (AYFL) to instruct youth coaches and players via regional clinics. The partnership further provides AYFL's coaches with a customized concussion protocol (in collaboration with UHealth Sports Medicine) that assists coaches with overall safety.[19]

Tolbert Bain, a starter on the national champion national champion 1987 team works regularly with South Florida Youth leagues and helped Richt to develop the outreach. Richt told ESPN, "I'd do this either way,but in my view, it's also building for UM's future. I plan to finish my coaching career at Miami."[20]

"U" Network for University of Miami Football Alumni

In July 2016, Richt and his wife Katharyn announced that they will be launching ‘The U Network’.[21] “The U Network is going to be designed to help guys find work when their playing days are over whether it’s right after college or after their pro days. My wife is going to be the person kind of facilitating everything—all of the paperwork and all of the things it will take to connect people with events and connecting players with employers. It’s also going to be about reunion and connection, but the main goal is finding work for these guys and I’m talking about the guys who truly want work. We’re not just going to give somebody something. They’ve got to do their part, but sometimes all they need is a little bit of help of guidance, connection, and networking.”[21]

High School Recruiting

Despite joining the program with less than eight weeks before signing day, ESPN praised Richt for managing to recruit the 18th best class in the country. During this period, Richt was limited to three weeks of NCAA-allotted face time with recruits.[22]

Richt strongly opposes oversigning, a practice popular in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) that often results in older or hurt players losing their football scholarships. He believes that when a team offers a scholarship, it is a four-year commitment from the university.

University of Miami athletes receive lifetime scholarships, allowing players who elect to leave before their graduation to return and complete their diploma.

Paradise Camp

Richt hosts "Paradise Camp", a summer football camp at UM for high school players. The camp is open to any youth athlete. Prospects with offers and commitments are encouraged to attend. The camp is branded to highlight the benefits of playing and living in Miami's "paradise". In 2016, Richt brought in several UM NFL alumni including:

Personal life and family

Richt is married to the former Katharyn Francis of Tallahassee, Florida. They live two miles from campus in Coconut Grove. Katharyn finished a nursing degree in 2016.. In 2011 they sold their Georgia lake house, valued at nearly $2 million, and announced they intended to contribute more to charity. They have also taken several mission trips abroad.[24] The couple have four children: Jonathan (born March 11, 1990), David (born December 1, 1994), and two children they adopted from Ukraine in 1999,[25] Zach (born May 15, 1996), and Anya (born February 13, 1997), who was born with a rare disorder known as proteus syndrome. Jonathan works under Mark as the quarterbacks coach for the Hurricanes.

Richt is a devout Christian,.[26][27] His staff is a mix of religious backgrounds.[28]

ESPN's College GameDay featured a documentary on October 25, 2008 titled "GameDay looks at the Richt family's adoption of a young boy and girl from Ukraine" detailing the Richts' personal story of the adoption of their two youngest children Zach and Anya. The Richts declined on several occasions to publicly share their adoption story before deciding to proceed with the hope that it would encourage other families to explore the rewards of adoption.[29]

Richt appeared in the movie Facing the Giants as the former coach of the movie's main character, Grant Taylor.[30]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Georgia Bulldogs (Southeastern Conference) (2001–2015)
2001 Georgia 8–4 5–3 T–3rd (Eastern) L Music City 25 22
2002 Georgia 13–1 7–1 1st (Eastern) W Sugar 3 3
2003 Georgia 11–3 6–2 T–1st (Eastern) W Capital One 6 7
2004 Georgia 10–2 6–2 2nd (Eastern) W Outback 6 7
2005 Georgia 10–3 6–2 1st (Eastern) L Sugar 10 10
2006 Georgia 9–4 4–4 T–3rd (Eastern) W Chick-fil-A 23
2007 Georgia 11–2 6–2 T–1st (Eastern) W Sugar 3 2
2008 Georgia 10–3 6–2 2nd (Eastern) W Capital One 10 13
2009 Georgia 8–5 4–4 T–2nd (Eastern) W Independence
2010 Georgia 6–7 3–5 T–3rd (Eastern) L Liberty
2011 Georgia 10–4 7–1 1st (Eastern) L Outback 18 18
2012 Georgia 12–2 7–1 T–1st (Eastern) W Capital One 4 5
2013 Georgia 8–5 5–3 3rd (Eastern) L Gator
2014 Georgia 10–3 6–2 2nd (Eastern) W Belk 9 9
2015 Georgia 9–3 5–3 T–2nd (Eastern) W TaxSlayer* 25*
Georgia: 145–51 83–37
Miami Hurricanes (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2016–present)
2016 Miami 8–4 5–3 T–2nd (Coastal)
Miami: 8–4 5–3
Total: 153–55
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. "UGA Coach Mark Richt to Step Down". UGA Sports. November 29, 2015.
  2. "CornDawgs: Richt's family balances love for Georgia, Nebraska". Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  3. 1 2 "Tragedy played big role in evolution of UM coach Mark Richt". Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  4. "Mark Richt Bio". Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  5. 1 2 "Tragedy played big role in evolution of UM coach Mark Richt". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  6. "East Carolina Coaching Change Has Ripple Effect On Florida Football". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  8. 1 2 "'We're going to get to work:' Former Miami QB Mark Richt takes over the 'Canes". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  9. "Richt, Georgia parting ways after 15 seasons". Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  10. "Miami makes hiring of Mark Richt official". ESPN. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  11. "New football coach Mark Richt is happy to be home at the University of Miami". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  12. Labar, Sean. "Catching up with Miami's Mark Richt – HERO Sports". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  13. "Miami Surpasses 40,000 Season Tickets". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  14. 1 2 "After rejuvenating UM football faithful, Mark Richt aims to bring back wins". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  15. "Mark Richt donating $1 million toward Hurricanes indoor practice facility | Canes Watch". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  16. 1 2 "Hurricanes to unveil plans for new $30M facility". Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  17. "Miami Hurricanes football set to reveal indoor practice facility details | Canes Watch". Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  18. "What does Mark Richt say when he speaks to young football players? | Canes Watch". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  19. "Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt spreading good will to Broward youth football | Eye on the U". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  20. "Can Mark Richt make Miami cool again?". Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  21. 1 2 "'U Network': Mark Richt to establish support system for Hurricanes players | Canes Watch". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  22. Writer, By Matt Porter – Palm Beach Post Staff. "Signing Day 2016: Mark Richt's first Miami class a success". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  23. "2016 UM Paradise Camp". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  24. "Mark Richt's wife will be highly involved with Miami Hurricanes | Canes Watch". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  25. "GameDay looks at the Richt family's adoption of a young boy and girl from the Ukraine".
  26. "Seminoles Run Recalls Strong FCA Roots".
  27. "Mark Richt: A Protege of Football's Finest".
  28. Writer, By Matt Porter - Palm Beach Post Staff. "Players, coaches, parents like UM coach's mix of faith, football". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  29. The Richt Family's Life-Long Commitment – ESPN Video – ESPN
  30. Facing The Giants – In Theatres Now

External links

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