Monday, May 23, 2011

Richt Report Part Two: The Good



Today I'll be diving into the second part of the three part series breaking down Coach Richt from a somewhat objective viewpoint. I say somewhat because, frankly, I'll never fully remove the Red and Black glasses. I always want the best for the Dawgs, and let's face it, hiring a new coach isn't necessarily the most pain-free thing around- just ask Michigan.

But I don't attempt to circumvent my pragmatism- wins and losses are the real measuring stick of a coach at UGA. I realize that no pain means no gain and shoehorning in about 4-5 more wins in the schedule is priority number one this season.

If you missed last week's first post in this series, you can find it HERE. I took a look at the entire schedule the last five years and reviewed each game, determining if the game played out as it should have. From the feedback I received, it was a general consensus that I wasn't a complete buffoon.

Today I'll take a look at some points of pride in Mark Richt's favor. I'll share some slight opinion, but I'm sure no one could argue that these are definitively pluses in your coach's corner. For those of you interested, being a "fine Christian man" doesn't make this list- not because it isn't important, but because I'm tired of hearing it in reference to him.

I'm of the opinion that you should treat all people as humans and not pawns in the greater scheme of winning at all costs, so you don't get brownie points here because you don't lie, cheat, or pay players. Were this "The Bad", negative points would be assessed for said offenses, but no positive for being decent.

Without further ado, let's get this "Disney" party started...

"THE GOOD":

  • A .738 winning percentage ranks him 11th in active coaches. That also makes him good enough for 6th overall of coaches in "Big 6" conferences.
  • The football team has consistently improved in the Academic Progress Rate that the NCAA measures collegiate athletics' educational advancement. In 2009, UGA had the top score of schools in the Top-25 not named Penn State. Last year's score was 2nd in the SEC behind Vandy and this year's score bettered that one by 3 points, at 976.
  • Student athletes that don't find their way to the NFL are getting their degree- and even some of those are coming back to get their diploma. Twelve football players graduated this May. In 2010, 68% of the team seniors got a degree, which was also 2nd to Vandy in the SEC.
  • Two SEC Championships, a 7-3 bowl record, and 3 SEC Eastern division titles.
  • Two-time SEC Coach of the Year (2002 & 2005)
  • Five finishes in the AP Top-10 (2002-2005, 2007)
  • This isn't really a metric, but it's something that I feel is pretty important. He's pretty damn good at table tennis from all reports. If you can rumble the paddles with any decency, you're probably going to end up as someone I like. Unless of course you're the head coach at UTk, UA, SoCar, or AU. I've heard Kirk Ferentz is a big fan of the "The Sport of the Far East". Not sure this makes me a huge fan of him though. BTW, is he coaching the Broncos yet?
  • He really cares about his players and their future. I know this is a pretty tired reason, but if you take the time to go and see him at an event this is even more pronounced than usual. If Dawgola can ever get the video up from the event in Gainesville last week this really comes through.
  • You really get the impression that there are more important things in life than winning at all costs. While I'm pretty certain he's more fiery and competitive than 98% of fans realize, marginalizing his character simply isn't going to happen.
  • His " perfect balding quaff" of hair as a fan of the blog in Charlotte once put it, is second to none.
  • Despite sticking to his guns for what may have been fatally too long, he realized that changes to his staff needed to be made after some pretty pronounced stagnation in certain areas. He made the changes and we are awaiting results. It had to be done and he did make some very big changes. I don't think he gets due credit for this.
That's about as objective as I could be. It was hard not to throw in some character qualifiers, though. Some of the guys he's competing with make the task of finding endearing qualities they possess about like trying to pry a Latina house maid from the death clutches of the Governator (Just for the record, I was devastated when I heard about Arnold's escapade... especially after seeing the instant classic below. I wouldn't watch it at work, but if you wanna...).



At any rate, notwithstanding the last two year's records, Mark Richt has more than a lot going for him. If you had to pick a guy to coach your team and didn't look at recent records, he'd proabaly be easily in the Top-5. Everyone has lapses though, as time progresses and circumstances change. Considering this list, you'd have to say you'd be tickled to have a coach like this leading your team.

But then there's also that other part that's not so rosy...


Thoughts?

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