By David Udel.
When we look back at Coach Mark Richt, I can’t help but think how he will be remembered here at Miami. Now I’m gonna warn you, I’ve been a fan since 1971, so this may be a long read.
I first saw CMR in the late 70s, early 80s as a 13-year-old fan in the Orange Bowl. He was in a tough situation for sure and even wanted to transfer. Hard to blame him when you got the best QB room of all time to compete against. Just look at this QB room, Kelly, Kosar, Testaverde, Vanderwende, and little ole Mark Richt. And yes that’s Super Bowl winning QB Earl Morrall as QB coach.
Richt held his own and did get playing time. The one game that sticks out to me is the 1982 FSU game, a game Richt would like to forget. If I remember right, i think the senior threw 4 pics that day as a Hurricane starter and lost to FSU 24 to 7. At least he was man enough to shake coach Bowden’s Hand after the defeat to FSU.
Well, I never gave CMR much thought until he showed up in Tallahassee as a QB coach. I remember laughing and saying,
“that’s just perfect”. But CMR and the Seminoles won two Natty’s together in 93 as QB coach and in 99 as OC.
CMR then went to UGA as head coach where he had nice success. Along with winning a lot of games, CMR got a reputation of being a good guy to play for and a great recruiter.
During his 15 years with the Bulldogs, Richt won 5 $EC Eastern Championships and two $EC championships. But as we all know, CMR also got a reputation for not winning the big games at UGA. But he also has the third highest winning percentage of D-1 schools of coaches who coached 200 games or more. CMR also put the second highest amount of kids in the NFL at 73 kids drafted.
After leaving UGA in 2015, CMR wanted to take a year or two off before he coached again due to just being a little worn out from coaching. But when his Hurricanes came calling, he had no choice but to jump all over the chance.
I for one was thrilled with the Idea only because I believed with South Florida talent, CMR might actually get the big game monkey off his back. Well we all know what happened, CMR lost his locker room during a four-game slide to basketball schools. Let me tell all of you, that was really tough on CMR.
So let’s look at the bad part first.
CMR hiring his son was a big mistake. CMR became loyal to a fault to certain coaches and even players. CMR offense could never get on track. But the Rosier, Perry thing and four losses to basketball schools are what did him in. He was ready to retire and get some rest.
Now let’s look at the good CMR brought to the Hurricanes. CMR brought some good ole Miami Hurricane feeling to Coral Gables. CMR got us our first 10 win season and Bowl Win in a decade. CMR donated a million dollars to the indoor practice facility. CMR didn’t drag Miami out in a long term contract ordeal over him wanting to retire. No, CMR just retired saving the university millions of possible dollars.
So do I remember the Kid that threw four pics against FSU in a 24 to 7 loss, or do I see CMR as the coach that led us to a bowl victory and the 8th ranked recruiting class in 2018? Well if I’m honest to myself, CMR was a great transition coach from Golden to Diaz. He didn’t win a Natty, and like him or not, CMR did a lot for Miami.
So how will I remember CMR, that’s simple? Canes fans remember all Canes Players, coaches, and fans, as U FAMM. Well except Al Golden.