By NYAH TENNELL
University of Miami Football Coach Mark Richt continues to set a positive example for the UM football players.
Richt was recently named Honorary Head Coach for the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, an organization that recognizes student-athletes and their efforts in service as well as enriching the lives of individuals in need.
Since becoming the 24th football coach at the university in December 2015, Richt has received nothing but praise for his performance both on and off the field.
Besides his football acumen, Richt is known for his strong faith, emphasis on academics, integrity and community service. According to an article appearing in USAToday, Richt’s greatest virtue is his willingness to do the right thing for the program, even if it was against his self-interest as a coach trying to keep his job. Georgia players, whether star player or backup, were going to face discipline for off-season infractions — usually to a greater degree than their counterparts at other SEC schools.
However, Richt has left a favorable impression wherever he has treaded. The Miami Herald reported that fans attending an Atlanta Falcons game at the Georgia Dome were quite upset when the announcement of Richt’s departure came over the public-address system. Despite a somewhat tumultuous end to his career at the University of Georgia, DawgNation’s Seth Emerson and Chip Towers quoted Georgia Athletics Director Greg McGarity who said, “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.”
While bestowing the Honorary Coaching Award to Richt, Todd Berry, AFCA Executive Director, lavished him with praise. “We get to honor one of our own members, Coach Mark Richt from the University of Miami. His dedication to community service goes hand in hand for why this award was established in 1992”.
The UM fans and alumni are anxiously hoping that Richt will return the football program to its illustrious position in the college football universe. According to The Miami Herald, season ticket renewal rates are at an astonishing 87 percent.
In the midst of football season, this is a hectic, yet lively time for the first year coach of the Hurricanes, and in an interview conducted by the Sun-Sentinel, Richt indicated that he believes his players are adjusting well to changes, and added, “It’s been busy, but it’s been good.”
While I have not had the honor of speaking with Richt, I am looking forward to witnessing this season with the man many believe is currently one of the University of Miami’s best assets.