University of Miami head coach Mark Richt abruptly announced his retirement as the Hurricanes ended their football season.
Richt was hired for the job at Miami in 2015 after more than a decade as head coach of the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team. He was dismissed from UGA in 2015 and replaced by former University of Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.
Richt issued the following statement Sunday, according to the Hurricanes.
“A few hours ago, I informed UM Director of Athletics Blake James that it is time for me to retire from coaching so I am stepping down as the Head Coach of UM Football. The decision came after a great deal of thought, discussion with my family and prayer. This was my decision.
“The University of Miami has been a part of my life for more than three decades. It shaped me as a young man and provided me with the coaching opportunity of a lifetime. My love for The U is simply great. My true desire is for our football program to return to greatness, and while terribly difficult, I feel that stepping down is in the best interests of the program.
“I want to express my sincere appreciation to the entire Hurricane Family for welcoming me back home and for supporting the outstanding young men in our program. I only wish that we could have achieved greater things in return. I also want to thank President Frenk and Blake for their incredible support, as well as the outstanding men and women in UM Athletics. Most importantly, I want to thank the incredible coaches, staff, and their families who gave their all to The U each and every day, and our student-athletes, who wore The U jersey with pride and who worked hard towards their degree.
“Katharyn and I will be cheering on the Canes in the years to come and The U will never leave our hearts.
“Sincerely, Mark Richt”
Miami is coming off a 35-3 loss to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl, a loss school officials called “unacceptable.”
Richt went 26-13 in three years at Miami, his alma mater, including 7-6 this season. He led Miami to a 10-3 mark and Orange Bowl berth in 2017 after debuting with a 9-4 record in 2016.
At Georgia, Richt went 145-51 in 15 years, including two SEC championships and five East division titles.