Mark Richt: I thought Miami Hurricanes would be better without me

“I felt it was the right time for me as a person, and I felt like Miami would be in better hands,” Richt said in his first public comments since retiring.
Former Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt speaks with reporters at halftime of Saturday's spring game. [ MATT BAKER | TIMES ]
Former Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt speaks with reporters at halftime of Saturday's spring game. [ MATT BAKER | TIMES ]
Published April 20
Updated April 20

ORLANDO — Mark Richt said his sudden retirement from Miami at the end of the season came in part because he thought the Hurricanes would be better off without him.

“I just thought it was the right time to do that,” Richt said in his first public remarks since retiring in December. “There’s no easy time to do it, for sure, especially when you’re the head coach…

“I felt it was the right time for me as a person, and I felt like Miami would be in better hands. I did because I thought it was the right time for me, and I also felt like it was going to be good for the university, which is my alma mater, obviously.”

Richt spoke with reporters Saturday during halftime of Miami’s spring game at Camping World Stadium. The occasion: ESPN announced that he was joining the soon-to-be-launched ACC Network as a studio analyst.

So why did he think the ’Canes would be in better shape without him?

“I just felt like me knowing that it was time for me to not do it anymore, I didn’t want to fake it,” Richt said. “I didn’t want to just do it for the money. I felt like, for me to know it was time for me to stop coaching, it was just obvious that it was going to be good for everybody.”

Richt said his move hadn’t been planned in advance, but he began to think about it after Miami ended its 7-5 regular season. After Wisconsin thrashed his ’Canes in the bowl game, Richt knew it was time to move on.

“I don’t know how to describe it other than sometimes you just know,” Richt said. “Sometimes you just know."

Richt said he doesn’t intend to coach again, and he sounded like a man who was done with the profession. His new job will allow him to stay involved in the game without the constant grind of coaching.

If he is indeed done coaching, he finishes with a 171-64 career record. His 26-13 run at Miami included the program’s first ever trip to the ACC title game.

Richt also knocked down speculation that he was asked to make any changes to his staff (including the possible reassignment of his son, then-quarterbacks coach, Jon).

“It’s been a wonderful ride...” Richt said of his Miami tenure. “I think Miami got better as a program. It’s in a good position to continue to be great again.”

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