Georgia releases statement on Mark Richt departure

On Sunday morning, Campus Sports learned that Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt informed his players that he would be stepping down following the team’s bowl game.

ESPN followed shortly after saying that Richt was “fired” from his position, but Georgia has released a statement confirming that Richt has agreed to step down.

A statement from UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity read, “Coach Richt and I met Sunday morning to discuss the status of our football program and we mutually agreed that he would step down as head coach and would have the opportunity to accept other duties and responsibilities at UGA following the bowl game.”

You can read the remainder of the lengthy statement below.

“On behalf of the University of Georgia Athletic Association and Bulldogs everywhere, I want to thank Mark and Katharyn for 15 years of
remarkable service to the UGA community, hundreds of our students and staff, and to college football,” McGarity added.

“Mark’s record on the field was outstanding; however, his impact on college football goes well beyond the gridiron. His fingerprints are evident on shaping the lives of children, many of whom attend a Bulldog summer camp or a retreat; they are evident on the prospective student-athletes as they determine what college to attend — whether it be UGA or a competitor; they are evident on his current players, and probably even more so, on those who have lettered and are in the workplace, as fathers and husbands. For those contributions, we are sincerely appreciative.

“Mark has touched thousands of lives over the past 15 years — he has a huge heart and his positive influence has affected many people, young and old. We will never actually know how many people were positively impacted by a comforting phone call, a sympathetic or uplifting note, an autographed football or photo — he had the unique ability to shine a bright light on others when they needed it most.

“Mark has the opportunity to remain on our staff at the University of Georgia, and would be heavily involved with outreach programs for our former football lettermen via the PO Network as well as other University and Athletic Association initiatives. We wish Mark, Katharyn and his family the best as he enters a new chapter of his life.”

“Mark Richt has been an outstanding coach and mentor to our student-athletes during his fifteen-year tenure, and we have developed a strong and enduring friendship during that time,” said UGA President Jere W Morehead. “I am deeply grateful for his many years of dedicated service to the University of Georgia, and I particularly appreciate the positive way he has represented UGA. I have asked Mark to remain engaged with the institution in a new leadership role, and I look forward to hopefully working closely with him as we advance our capital campaign at the University of Georgia. I know all UGA alumni and supporters will look forward to celebrating the successful conclusion of his coaching career at UGA in a bowl game later this year. I want to wish Katharyn and the Richt
family all the best.”

With Richt out in Athens, there has been plenty of speculation that Alabama coordinator Kirby Smart and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen could be front-runners for the job.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports