Mark Richt’s successful 15-year tenure at Georgia ended on Sunday, as the program chose to go in a new direction for 2016 and beyond. Richt went 145-51 during his run with the Bulldogs, which included two SEC titles and a No. 2 ranking in the final Associated Press poll in 2007.
While Richt won 145 games, he struggled to get Georgia over the top and compete on a consistent basis for national championships. Additionally, the Bulldogs lost at least three games in SEC play in two out of the last three seasons.
Considering Richt has been coaching on a yearly basis since 1985, it’s no guarantee the former Georgia coach will jump back into the mix this season. However, Richt should have no shortage of suitors. Which teams should pursue Richt?
Ranking the 5 Best Jobs for Former Georgia Coach Mark Richt
There’s an obvious fit here. Richt spent his college career at Miami as a backup quarterback to Jim Kelly and is a native of Boca Raton. Going home and leading your alma mater is always appealing to a head coach, and there’s less pressure at Miami than at Georgia. Richt wouldn’t necessarily lead the Hurricanes to national titles, but the program would be in better shape than it is now.
Virginia reportedly had interest in Richt in 2000 when George Welsh retired. Could the Cavaliers look at Richt once again? While Virginia isn’t going to contend for national championships every year, getting this program back into bowl games on an annual basis is realistic. There’s not a ton of pressure and Richt’s demeanor would be a good fit in Charlottesville.
3. LSU Offensive Coordinator
In Monday’s press conference, Richt mentioned he wanted to get back to more hands-on coaching and play-calling. Why not LSU? The Tigers are in need of a spark on this side of the ball, and coach Les Miles is under pressure to fix an offense that scored 20 or fewer points in each of LSU’s last four games.
4. SEC East: South Carolina or Missouri
South Carolina’s coaching search could depend on where Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart lands, and Missouri is looking for a coach to replace Gary Pinkel. Staying within the division would allow for Richt to get a little revenge against Georgia. However, it’s still the SEC and there’s no shortage of pressure at either job.
This job has potential to improve with Big Ten money and the backing of Under Armour. However, this job is also in the same division as Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State. In other words, it’s not going to be easy.
Bonus: NFL Assistant
If Richt isn’t ready to be a head coach again, why not take a year or two and work in the NFL as an offensive assistant?