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Georgia and Mark Richt go separate ways; Miami should be all in on Richt

Mark Richt

The end of the Mark Richt era in Athens finally came on Sunday. After years of perhaps misguided hot seat talk, the long drought without an SEC title, never mind a national championship game appearance, finally forced Georgia and Richt to go their separate ways. While Georgia will be a highly attractive job on the market, perhaps the best job not located in Los Angeles, Richt may quickly find a new coaching home. Miami should be making those calls right now.

Richt would be a solid hiring for the University of Miami, and Richt is the only coach I would suggest Miami pursue ahead of Alabama offensive line coordinator Mario Cristobal. Since the Miami position opened up following the removal of Al Golden, I have been suggesting time and time again Cristobal be the new head coach for Miami moving forward. That changed Sunday, when Georgia announced the removal of Richt as head coach of the Bulldogs. Miami could not go wrong with Richt or Cristobal as far a sI am concerned, and these are the only two coaches with Miami ties I woudl applaud Miami for hiring.

If Miami were to hire Richt, who will coach Georgia’s bowl game unless anything changes between now and whatever bowl plans Georgia has, they would be hiring a proven winner with a solid reputation. The former Hurricanes quarterback (1979-1982 backing up Jim Kelly) would bring a pair of SEC championship rings and six SEC East Division titles with him, not to mention two SEC Coach of the Year awards. He would be the most successful coach hired by the university at the time of his hiring, having won 145 games with 51 losses and a bowl record of 9-5. To achieve the level of success he did at Georgia, even though the Bulldogs never entered the thick of the national championship picture on his watch, the expectations would be high for him coming into Miami. Richt would make Miami a winner in the ACC Coastal Division, something this program has failed to do since leaving the Big East.

Just take a look at this and tell me why Miami would be making a mistake by hiring Richt…

Mark Richt's head coaching record as of November 30, 2015 (via Wikipedia)

Mark Richt’s head coaching record as of November 30, 2015 (via Wikipedia)

Now, take a look at Miami’s results during that same stretch. It all goes down hill after Richt’s first season at Georgia…

Miami Hurricanes 2001-2015, via College Football Reference.

Miami Hurricanes 2001-2015, via College Football Reference.

There are other reasons why Richt would be a solid hire for Miami. The recruiting familiarity in the key regions for the Hurricanes would be one of hem. Richt went to Miami and has established some strong recruiting ties throughout the southwest, including the fertile grounds of Florida and Georgia. That has come in handy with the Bulldogs with top 15 classes in the 247 Sports composite rankings each year since 2001, and just two seasons outside the top 10. Two things worth mentioning here though, to be fair. Georgia traditionally recruits talented classes anyway, and despite the boatload of talent, Georgia has still only won two SEC titles and never played for a national championship. On the flip side, Miami would still be upgrading here in a big way.

Richt to Miami is the coaching move that almost seems to make too much sense not to happen. The only alternative Miami should consider would be Cristobal. Otherwise, Miami should prepare to go all in for Richt.

2015 Coaching Carousel Spins Out of Control

As expected, the end of the 2015 college football regular season was quickly followed by a good handful of job changes around the country. Virginia Tech hired away Justin Fuente from Memphis to replace the retiring Frank Beamer. That prompted Memphis to name co-defensive coordinator Darrell Dickey the interim head coach as Fuente leaves the Tigers. Beamer is still expected to coach Virginia Tech’s bowl game, which will be good to see. I found it interesting to see the Hokies will keep Bud Foster as defensive coordinator. That’s a good move for the Hokies, as I thought Foster might be heading out with the Beamer regime coming to an end.

Iowa State hired Toledo head coach Matt Campbell, a move I still scratch my head a bit from Campbell’s point of view. I would have thought he could hold out for a better job, if not the Missouri job. Toledo named defensive cooridnator Jon Heacock their interim head coach. Rutgers finally cut the cord on Kyle Flood (and athletics director Julie Herman). That was a move that needed to happen a long time ago. Running backs coach Norries Wilson, who filled in for Flood during his suspension, will be the interim head coach although Rutgers’ season is done. Not to be forgotten, Virginia’s Mike London resigned as well.

There was some other coaching news this weekend, of course. Illinois agreed to a contract extension for Bill Cubit and removed the interim tag form his title. And, of course, LSU decided to keep Les Miles on board as head coach of the program in a hilarious turn of events.

As always, the full coaching carousel can be tracked here with a chart updating who’s out and who’s in and a chronological list of coaching changes.

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.