CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) — Welcome home Mark Richt. That’s the huge message from the University of Miami to the Hurricane alumnus as he became the 24th head football coach.
“I have accepted the committee’s recommendation and we have found who we consider the best coach to lead our Hurricanes football program,” announced University of Miami President Julio Frenk on Friday in the Shalala Student Center. “I am convinced that we have found in Mark a leader who knows how to win, and who is committed to setting an example for his players.”
In response to the announcement, Richt thanked the board who chose him for the position.
“I’m just very excited to be home. This is home,” said Richt.
The new coach did not spare a moment before letting the public know what he expects from himself and from the players.
“I know what’s expected. I don’t want to make a lot of promises other than I want to promise that we’re going to get to work and we will earn the right for victory,” said Richt. “I’m going to ask out players to take care of business academically. I want them to behave socially and I want them to do the very best in every area of their life and represent this university in the right way but also set themselves up for the future.”
Richt went on to reiterate his and his wife’s commitment to Miami.
“This is our home. We love it and this is where we’re going to finish our coaching career and I say ours because it’s a team effort. My goal is to finish my coaching career at the U and I am very excited about the possibility of that,” said Richt who finished his speech off with “The U” hand gesture.
Director of Athletics Blake James had officially announced Richt’s hiring earlier.
“Coach Richt embodies the competitiveness, the integrity, the passion, the abilities, and the experience to lead our young men to ACC and national championships and help them become men of character and success long after,” James said. “His passion for the game of football and for his student-athletes is evident in everything he does and we could not be more excited to welcome Mark and Katharyn and their family to Coral Gables.”
Richt, born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Boca Raton, returns to his alma mater after leading the University of Georgia football program for the past 15 years, compiling a 145-51 overall record and an 85-40 mark in Southeastern Conference play, winning two SEC championships, six SEC East titles and nine bowl games and finishing the season in the Associated Press Top Ten rankings seven times.
Richt’s .740 winning percentage ranks fifth-best among active FBS head coaches and he is tied for ninth among the winning head coaches in SEC history. Richt is one of only seven head coaches in SEC history to record four straight 10-win seasons (2002-05). During his tenure on the sidelines in Athens, 77 of Richt’s players were selected in the NFL Draft over the last 14 years, including eight chosen in the 2002 and 2013 NFL Drafts – the most Georgia players ever selected in a single year.
Off the field, Richt places a strong emphasis on academics and 292 Georgia players earned their degrees during his tenure. Richt was the 2013 recipient of the Stallings Award given for commitment to humanitarian and community service efforts, and in 2010 he was named to the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees.
Prior to his arrival at Georgia, Richt spent seven seasons as the offensive coordinator at Florida State. In his time in Tallahassee, the Seminoles finished in the nation’s top five in scoring offense on five occasions, top 12 in total offense five times, and top 12 in passing offense five times. The 2000 team, which played in the National Championship game against Oklahoma, finished the regular season ranked first nationally in total offense (549.0 ypg), first in passing offense (384.0 ypg), and third in scoring offense (42.4 ppg).
Richt sent six FSU quarterbacks into the NFL between 1987 and 2000. In 2000, Richt coached Chris Weinke to the Heisman Trophy, and in 1991 he coached Casey Weldon to runner-up for the Heisman. His teammate at FSU, Brad Johnson (now Richt’s brother-in-law), was a Pro Bowl selection for Washington in 2000 and led the Tampa Bay Bucs to the Super Bowl title in 2003. Other Richt pro protégés include Danny Kanell (New York Giants), Danny McManus (Kansas City Chiefs) and Peter Tom Willis (Chicago Bears).
Richt played quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes under legendary head coach Howard Schnellenberger. He spent most of his career at Miami as a backup to former Buffalo Bills star Jim Kelly. In one of Richt’s years at Miami, his teammates included Kelly, Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar and quarterbacks coach Earl Morrall.
Richt is married to the former Katharyn Francis of Tallahassee. The couple has four children – Jonathan, David, Zach and Anya. Jon was married to the former Anna Cearley, in May 2010.