Can Richt meet his ultimatum?
Every dog has his day, and Georgia Bulldogs Head Football Coach Mark Richt’s may have come and gone. It was a known fact among Bulldog fans and coaching staff that the first two games of the season—Boise State and South Carolina—would make or break the season for the team. Now, at the start of Week 3, the Bulldogs are 0-2 and things aren’t looking so great for Coach Richt.
Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution describes Richt’s current situation very bluntly: basically, Richt needs to lead the Bulldogs to a 9-1 record for the remaining games of the 2011 season. Richt only has two years left in his current contract, and if he can’t achieve the record previously mentioned, he has a slim to none chance of getting his contract extended.
If the Bulldogs do manage to have a turn-around and finish the season 9-3 or better, it could save Coach Richt’s job and preserve the current dynamic of the team. However, if the season ends with a poor record and Richt’s contract does not get renewed, the University of Georgia could potentially be hiring a new head football coach, which would affect not only Coach Richt, but the entire football team and coaching staff, as well as the University as a whole.
Bringing in a new coach, while sometimes a refreshing change of pace for teams that have been stuck in a rut, can often cause a lot of turmoil. Players who have gotten used to the ways of a certain coach are finding themselves having to readjust to a new coaching style. This could potentially put the team into a “rebuilding phase,” which might result in a worse season record than when under the former coach.
It would be helpful to know where the 9-1 record ultimatum came from and if it has been confirmed or if it is just simply speculation. Schultz mentions a “cryptic comment” at an Athletic Board meeting. This may have been the seed for all of the media speculation. The aforementioned speculation clearly dominated the play by play commentary during game 2. One thing is for certain though—if Coach Richt is worried about the stability of his job, there’s no showing it. He has been sure to keep his team focused on the ultimate goal: winning.