Thursday, December 19, 2013

Feats of Strength - Coach Richt's perfection

Ok, so I had a moment. Then I gathered a thought together. And now I've read all of your feedback. It's time to summarize - Coach Richt is the perfect fit for Georgia, and is a victim of said perfection.

I've evolved from a believer that the head coach is the sole determinant in a tackle football program's success or failure. It may not be the case everywhere (btw, are there any more programs that still have a head coach that is also the AD, as in UGA circa the 1980s?), but in Athens GA the cream rises to the top. And I believe UGA's success is a result of Richt's hard work, while its shortcomings are a burden lying mostly at the feet of the administration. This begs for some elaboration of course. But for now, it's UGA's policy to suspend student-athletes beyond the national norm and it's the higher ups that keep the tight grasp on the checkbook.

Remember, Richt's on record as far as paying his assistants more money. And do you really think he wanted Josh Harvey-Clemons and Marshall Morgan on the sidelines instead of on the field whilst in Clempson?

All the while Mark Richt has raised the program to new standards. Had his teams not come so close to the national stage in 2002, 2007 and 2012, we would appreciate what he's done even more - 74.1% winning percentage, 2 SEC Championships, 13 consecutive bowls, two time SEC Coach of the Year. And through that success he provides the opportunity for the program, athletic office and university to enjoy riches previously unimagined.

Which has made us all fat and lazy to some degree. To the haters, Richt's the guy that "knocked the lid off the program" and "finished the drill", but has been unable to finish the next drill and match the successes and the luck of his colleagues. To the staunch supporters, he's been the face of the program to the point that they've forgotten what it's like to cheer for a team not coached by the state's most popular dude. And to the only people Richt truly answers to, he's a perfect face for the program - nice guy, never embarrasses the university, wins plenty of games, and a cash cow to be milked at every home game and more.

Perhaps I haven't evolved so much as gained a clearer understanding. Regardless, it's your turn. Explain to me how Mark Richt isn't perfect for Georgia. And if he's not, why that's his fault.