In a surprise turn of events, Mark Richt announced Sunday afternoon that he is retiring as head coach of the University of Miami football team. The Hurricanes finished the 2018 season with a 7-6 overall record and tied for third in the ACC Coastal at 4-4. Miami got shellacked by the Wisconsin Badgers in the Pinstripe Bowl to end a lackluster season that saw them go from preseason No. 8 to unranked.
Richt met with the Miami Director of Athletics on Sunday morning, then released a full statement:
Dear Hurricane family:
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, discussions 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.
As a member of the ACC Coastal division, the Cavaliers play the Hurricanes every season. Virginia went 1-2 against Miami under Richt with the win coming this season in a 16-13 victory at Scott Stadium. Richt came from the University of Georgia, where he worked closely with current Virginia Athletic Director Carla Williams. When both Miami and Virginia were conducting coaching searches, there were significant rumors about Richt taking over in Charlottesville before Mendenhall was ultimately hired.
Miami’s Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz just parted ways with the Canes to become the head coach at Temple. There’s no indication at time of publish what direction the Hurricanes might go in replacing Richt.