Former Georgia coach Mark Richt decided against taking a year off and will become the new coach at Miami. After reports on Wednesday, the school announced the hire Friday morning. This comes just three days after Richt was let go as Georgia's coach.
"We are blessed to have the opportunity to come to a world-class institution and world-renowned city and play a role in the life of the campus and community," Richt said in a statement. "Returning to The U is truly an honor and I am humbled by the responsibility of leading our storied program. I can't wait to get started."
Richt was let go by Georgia after 14 years with the Bulldogs this past season. He led UGA to a 9-3 record, and a 5-3 record in the SEC, but due to injuries on offense and the lack of consistency at quarterback, the Bulldogs failed to win the SEC East, despite being big favorites.
The former Hurricanes quarterback (he was a backup on a roster that included Jim Kelly) is an offensive-minded coach, having been Florida State's offensive coordinator before coming to Georgia. Richt has said that he wants to work hands-on with players, specifically quarterbacks, and Miami is returning quarterback Brad Kaaya next year.
Here's Coach Richt with some good company: (L to R) Testaverde, Vanderwende, Kelly, Coach Morrall, Richt, Kosar pic.twitter.com/DOo58EinnM— Miami Hurricanes (@MiamiHurricanes) December 4, 2015
Richt had brought in a top five class to Georgia this year, including five-star quarterback Jacob Eason, who ranks as the second best quarterback in the 2016 class. Eason's father has said he hopes Eason and Richt have a "lifetime" relationship.
Richt consistently won 10 games with the Bulldogs. He started fast, leading the Bulldogs to three Sugar Bowls and two SEC titles in his first seven years, and he won the SEC, finishing third in the country, in his second season. However, he tailed off in 2009 and 2010, winning eight and six games, respectively. He responded nicely from there, winning 10 games per year, but it still wasn't enough for Georgia's expectations, even though Richt was arguably the most successful coach in school history. This was more about the Bulldogs wanting to be Alabama than it was about Richt's ability as a coach. Georgia is expected to hire Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.
Part of the reason Richt had such high expectations is that he created those expectations with exceptional recruiting. He's still recruiting well, bringing a top five class to Athens before he was let go.