Miami coach Richt retires after Hurricanes finish season 7-6

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Mark Richt stepped down as Miami coach on Sunday, an announcement that caught the school off-guard and comes just days after the end of an underachieving season.

Richt, 58, said he was not forced out, and that the decision to retire was his.

“My love for The U is simply great,” Richt said in a statement. “My true desire is for our football program to return to greatness, and while terribly difficult, I feel that stepping down is in the best interests of the program.”

Richt said he informed Miami athletic director Blake James of his decision a few hours before the school sent out a statement shortly before 1 p.m. announcing the move. The Hurricanes scheduled a news conference for later Sunday to discuss the situation and where the program will go from here.

James told The Associated Press that he was stunned when he got the news Sunday morning.

“I wanted Mark to be our coach,” James said. “Last night, I thought he was our coach.”

Miami struggled to a 7-6 record this season, falling to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday night. The Hurricanes have lost nine of their last 16 games going back to a 10-0 start last season, were horrendous on offence at times in 2018 — totalling just 100 passing yards in their last two games — and saw several recruits who were committed decide to either sign elsewhere or re-open their college decisions.

Richt was 26-13 at Miami, and 171-64 in 18 seasons between Georgia and the Hurricanes.

“I want to express my sincere appreciation to the entire Hurricane family for welcoming me back home and for supporting the outstanding young men in our program,” Richt said in the statement. “I only wish that we could have achieved greater things in return.”

James said he will now aim to “go and get the best person for the job.” Defensive co-ordinator Manny Diaz, who likely would have been a strong candidate for the job — and may get approached by the Hurricanes now anyway — left Miami earlier this month to take over as coach at Temple. Several underclassmen also are considering leaving Miami early for the NFL draft.

Richt gave no indication that he was considering an early exit. He arrived at Miami in December 2015, spearheaded the building of an indoor practice facility that opened earlier this season and signed an extension in May that kept him under contract through 2023. He was making just over $4 million annually.

“The decision came after a great deal of thought, discussions with my family and prayer,” Richt said. “This was my decision.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Watch Prime Minister: Trudeau announces funding for kids, grandparents Sunday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the Canadian children and their grandparents Sunday… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

‘There isn’t consistency:’ COVID-19 response varies for children in care

WINNIPEG — Phones have been ringing continuously at the office of the… Continue reading

‘Do something now:’ Inmate’s wife calls for release of non-violent offenders

Luciana Infusino-Tomei has been left alone to care for her young daughter… Continue reading

Government announces 79 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 2 in Red Deer

There are 79 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alberta, bringing the provincial… Continue reading

WATCH: COVID-19 doesn’t stop Red Deer Public Library from telling stories

Deb Isbister has been reading stories to children for more than 20… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Doug Ford’s handling of the pandemic draws praise from friends and foes

TORONTO — No aspect of Canadian life has been left untouched by… Continue reading

Cineplex Inc., MEC enact mass layoffs amid COVID-19 store, theatre closures

Mountain Equipment Co-Op and Cineplex Inc. have laid off thousands of employees… Continue reading

I am still facing that existential angst

Stir crazy. I looked the phrase up, just for fun. “Restless or… Continue reading

Red Deer College adapting and adjusting to COVID-19

I have worked in post-secondary education for more than 30 years, and… Continue reading

Families urge action to get Canadians home from cruise ship stuck off Panama

1,243 passengers and 586 crew on board and more tests are being done every day

Saskatchewan cabinet Minister deletes ‘pray and repent’ tweet over COVID-19

REGINA — A Saskatchewan cabinet minister who tweeted an Old Testament passage… Continue reading

Most Read