There must be a universal “huh?” followed by, “nah... gotta be some mistake, it’s a guy named Mark Rich and he coaches for some high school and we’re just hearing wrong” reaction for the announcement today that Mark Richt has announced his retirement from coaching.
He’s had all of three years at the helm of the Miami Hurricanes, Richt wasn’t doing as well as the hype machine and Miami boosters were demanding, sure, but he was rebuilding a program that had serious systemic problems. The team lost a starting quarterback, and had difficulty recruiting offensive talent enough to push hard; though they certainly did well enough against fellow 3 year ACC coach Justin Fuente.
The two immediate reactions are, first; why did he just up and leave? The second is what is the Miami front office going to do to make a late move to the coaching carousel and grab a quality coaching prospect?
There are undoubtedly coaches who would be more than happy to take a fat contract, rich recruiting pipeline, and high end digs in Coral Gables. The problem is that the coaching pipeline is also pretty good at getting the “word” out on programs that make the big names with the prestige think hard about the contract terms that they would accept.
Miami just lost an alumnus SEC grade, experienced, winning head coach - When that sort of thing happens it’s almost always a front office vs. coaching clash. If that’s the case, Miami is going to find it both expensive and difficult to hire a coach of similar credentials.
What that means to the ACC is that it’s going to be quite a while before the top programs gather up enough talent and momentum to challenge Dabo’s Orange Tide.
No matter what, the ailing ACC Coastal Division is going to take a serious hit from 2018. With Paul Johnson leaving Georgia Tech (yeah! no more option!!!) and now Richt out at Miami, the Coastal is going to struggle even harder for ACC relevance.
Richt will land on his feat. So, Miami will be an entirely different problem to solve next season.