clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why Mark Richt would want the Maryland football coaching job, and why he wouldn't

Running down the pros and cons for the ex-Georgia coach to join Maryland.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland is considering former Georgia head coach Mark Richt to fill its own coaching vacancy. Richt could certainly succeed in College Park; his excellent 15-year run at Georgia in the SEC confirms as much. Fans seem to want him. But the far greater question about Richt and Maryland, more than Could he be good?, is Would he want the job?

Let's tick off a few points in – and against – Maryland's favor.

Why Richt would come to Maryland

Lower expectations.

Richt reached double-digit win totals in nine of his 15 years in Athens, but the Bulldogs were rarely the SEC's best team and never managed to get all the way over a national championship hump. Georgia still didn't want him back next season, even though Richt was as successful a coach as any reasonable fan or booster should ever demand. At Maryland, there's a good chance Richt would be greeted as a conquering hero. If he wins eight games per year, he's great. If he wins nine – the same total that apparently got him pressured out of his job at Georgia – he's messianic.

Maryland's perks package is pretty good.

Maryland's job, in and of itself, has a lot going for it. There's the school's close association with Under Armour, its impending new facility in the old Cole Field House, a strong local recruiting base and all the benefits that come with being a member of the Big Ten. Richt had a much better job at Georgia – make no mistake – but this wouldn't be an awful accommodation for his first post-Athens move.

His relationship with Maryland's administration.

Richt has a professional history with Maryland senior associate athletic director Damon Evans, who was Georgia's AD in the middle of Richt's tenure there. It's not clear how close the two men are, but Evans knows Richt well. The mere point that Maryland has reached out to Richt signals that Evans is open to having Richt join the program. It takes two to tango, but maybe Richt is up for it.

But there are plenty of reasons for Richt not to want the job. Let's go over those, too.

Why Richt wouldn't come to Maryland.

Burnout is real.

Richt is coming off 15 years in one of the highest-profile coaching gigs in the sport. While he's shown immediate openness to coaching again, it'd have to be the right situation for him. If he doesn't love Maryland's pitch, simply taking some time off is a totally feasible alternative at 55 years old.

Richt doesn't need Maryland or Maryland boosters' cash.

Richt has already made plenty of money in his coaching career. He's not uber-rich by elite coaching standards, but he was earning more than $3 million per season at Georgia. I have no clue what his specific financial situation is, but Richt has done well for himself. He probably doesn't need another job, at least not right now.

Miami could call him, or he could get any other open job.

This is the big one. Richt is a University of Miami alumnus, and the Hurricanes might want him to be Al Golden's long-term replacement. It's a tough sell for Maryland, going up against Richt's alma mater and also other upper-tier jobs closer to Richt's traditional headquarters in the South – perhaps Missouri or South Carolina. From the outside, Maryland isn't clearly better positioned than any of those places to get Richt. That's no reason not to try for him, but it's reason to think it won't be easy.