Mark Richt: How Many Wins Are Enough?

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Mark Richt: How Many Wins Are Enough?

Coaches Mark Richt and Brian Schottenheimer
Coaches Mark Richt and Brian Schottenheimer – Georgia vs. Missouri 2015
Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated
[su_spacer size=”20″] The essence of football is winning – there is a scoreboard. Mark Richt is a good man and a good coach. However, he chose a cutthroat profession that attaches little value to being merely good. Unfortunately for Coach Richt, his career placed him in the Southeast Conference as a contemporary of Nick Saban and Les Miles, plus the short-lived Gene Chizik. Richt’s career has to be compared to the men who won national championships at the same time that Georgia struggled to win a weakened SEC East. 
[su_spacer size=”40″] The job of a football coach is to win football games. That’s it. Schools always place other minimum requirements on their head coaches. They must comply with school, conference, and national rules, but the bottom-line is winning football games. No amount of good works exempts a coach from judgement based on comparative wins and losses.
[su_spacer size=”40″] How many games must a coach win to keep his job? The Italians have a term (quanto basta) meaning enough or as much as is required. A coach at a major institution like UGA must win enough games to satisfy the fanbase and the institution. There is no arbitrary number to indicate success. Success at Vanderbilt is defined differently than at Georgia. Quanto basta.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Those of us who attended the Georgia Southern game know exactly why Coach Richt is now at Miami. Georgia fans sold their tickets by the thousand and GSU fans were willing purchasers. There was an embarrassing number of folks in blue inside Sanford Stadium and when the excellent Eagles team was successful there were embarrassingly loud celebrations by those fans. The Alabama, Tennessee and, especially, Florida games killed the hope of Georgia fans and season ticket holders. They voted against Mark Richt by staying home. How many of those games would CMR have had to win to save his job? Quanto basta.
[su_spacer size=”40″] It is time to let go of the Mark Richt era and welcome native son Kirby Smart to the helm (reportedly). Mr. Smart comes to Georgia under no illusion. He knows that he has to win big – bigger than Mark Richt. He knows that Sanford Stadium must always be a sea of red and black. What he doesn’t know is the number of wins that keeps him safe. Quanto basta.
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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.