Today, the University of Georgia and Mark Richt mutually agreed to end his tenure as the school’s head football coach.  This move is representative of all that is wrong in college sports specifically and our nation as a whole.  His removal shows a complete lack of understanding of what it means to be a successful leader.

In addition to the infographic shown above, the following are just some of Coach Richt’s additional accomplishments:

  • Two-time SEC champion
  • Five-time SEC East Division champion
  • 144-51 record while at Georgia
  • Two-time SEC Coach of the Year
  • 2013 Stallings Award for commitment to humanitarian and community service.
  • 9-5 bowl game record
  • 1 year removed from being the 2014 season-ending 9th ranked team in the country.
  • Six Top 10 finishes in 15 years

I must say it – are you kidding me?  Coach Richt is only one year removed from a Top 10 finish and has nine wins this year with a chance to make it 10 at the bowl game.  Unbelievable!!!

But what I and many others will remember about the Mark Richt era is the lasting impact of his Christian leadership.  Other than the man who led him to Christ in 1986, former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden, I have never witnessed a coach who represented Christ in such an honorable fashion.  In fact, listen to the interview below with Paul Finebaum where at the 4-minute mark he begins discussing his faith in Christ.  Notice the impact his life has on those in the media.

Finally, I want to conclude this post with the following comments from Ray Belton, Southern University’s President and Chancellor.

During Georgia’s September 26th 48-6 victory, Southern’s Devon Gales suffered a severe spinal chord injury.  The following is a letter from President Belton regarding the compassion shown by Coach Richt:

An open letter to University of Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity, Head
Coach Mark Richt, UGA officials, and the entire UGA community
A history-making Southern University Jaguar football game on the road against nationally ranked University of Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Georgia, Saturday, September 26, 2015, has exemplified the true nature of sportsmanship, caring, and generosity.
During the third quarter of play in the Jaguars’ first match up against a Southeastern Conference team, SU wide receiver Devon Gales suffered a spinal injury. Devon underwent successful spinal surgery Sunday afternoon at Athens Regional Medical Center and is in good spirits.
From the moment of the accident, UGA and SU sports medicine staff worked side by side to tend to the injured SU player until he was taken off the field and transported to Athens Regional Medical Center. UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity immediately coordinated plans with SU Athletic Director Roman Banks for Devon’s care and support that included covering expenses to fly the student-athlete’s parents to Athens, Georgia, to be by his bedside.
At the medical center following the game, SU Head Coach Dawson Odums and members of the Jaguar Football team gathered with UGA Head Coach Mark Richt, other members of the UGA coaching staff, and team chaplains, to visit Devon. The UGA community has joined the Jaguar Nation in an extraordinary outpouring of prayers, love, and support for Devon and his family.
While Devon’s road to full recovery may be long, we are grateful for the prayers and excellent medical care and treatment that resulted in his successful surgery and improvement thus far. The extent to which the UGA officials and community have embraced our student-athlete is remarkable and it speaks volumes to their character and kindness.
I must also commend the UGA community for its hospitality shown to our athletic staff, team, and fans in and around Sanford Stadium. From excellent accommodations, to a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, we were pleased. On behalf of the Southern University System and the Southern University Department of Athletics, I extend a huge thank you to UGA officials, students, and alumni, the UGA community, and the Athens Regional Medical Center, for their care and support of Devon.
Best wishes,
Ray Belton
President-Chancellor, Southern University

I want to personally thank Mark Richt for 15 years of Christian character, dignity, integrity and showing how to develop quality young men who are not just football players, but great citizens.  I loved it when he would come to Woodstock (my city) and speak at First Baptist.  He is the greatest coach in UGA’s history and will not be forgotten.

I appreciate what my friend Keith Boggs said, “And I thought losing a game was nauseating. No, the truth is–losing that kind of man’s influence in building young men is what’s really nauseating. As a UGA fan, losing a coach feels much worse than losing a game.”

May his next Godly assignment be as equally successful.  Coach Richt’s testimony is shown below.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 8.35.12 PM

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