Yes, it’s over.
Those who are mad need to get over it. You can argue all you want to, but it doesn’t matter now. He is gone. And look, it needed to happen. There was no reason this man deserved a lifetime contract. He wasn’t a justice on the Supreme Court. He was a good coach, but he wasn’t great. He had a great first five years, but the last 10 – not so good.
This season was actually truly representative of what Richt did in his 15 years in Athens. Georgia was 9-3. That’s a great record. But of the five SEC wins, not one of those five teams finished with a winning record. And the three losses were to the best three teams on the schedule.
Look, Richt didn’t get fired because of his overall record. That’s pretty good. He got fired because he couldn’t beat the teams a coach must defeat to keep his job. Yes, he’s a good man – a fine man with impeccable integrity. But you don’t pay someone $4 million for that – not in today’s climate of winning championships in college football. I actually got an email from someone last night that wrote he would no longer be a Georgia fan because they fired Mark Richt. Really? Well, good sir, you don’t need to be a fan of Georgia football. You were never a fan of Georgia football. You might have been a fan of Mark Richt, and you should take your allegiances to whichever team he coaches next.
Believe me, Georgia doesn’t want you to be a fan if you’re stupid enough to write something like that. In a way, that was part of the problem. People were more fans of Richt than they were of Georgia football. That should never happen. I’m sure Alabama fans love Nick Saban, but watch Saban lose three or four games next year and see how much they love him. They love their program – they love Alabama. Georgia fans need to realize it’s about committing to the "G." It was never about R-I-C-H-T. He just held the office temporarily. That’s what coaches do, just like presidents live at the White House for a very short time.
This coach was beloved and respected, and that’s understandable. But he is not the only coach in America who is a good man. He is not the only coach in America that goes to church. And he’s not the only coach in the country to love his players. But sometimes, Georgia fans tried to make out like Richt was the only coach who did those things. Firing him does not mean Georgia is going to hire some Charles Manson-type who will be a bad man. We might not know where they go to church, since that might not be our business, but they will likely be a pretty good person if they get this job. And from everything I’ve ever heard, Kirby Smart is a good guy. He may not be as good a man as Mark Richt is, but are we really going to start judging coaches on that level? No. Smart will be judged by the wins he has and the championship trophies he collects. And if he doesn’t do it well enough, they’ll find someone else.
But please give Kirby – or whoever the next coach will be – a chance. You might still like Mark Richt – the man – better, but what if the next man in charge in Athens is actually a better coach? Well, something tells me that if that happens, everything will be just fine for the people who truly love Georgia football.