In December of 2000, Mark Richt was named the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. Since then, he’s guided the program to a 119-41 record, two SEC titles and three BCS bowl appearances.
They’re all feats the two-time SEC Coach of the Year may have never accomplished had he listened to a piece of advice from Steve Spurrier almost 22 years ago.
"[Spurrier] told me, ‘Do not under any circumstances take the Georgia job,’" Richt said Monday, according to the Athens Banner-Herald's Daniel Kramer. "That was the one bit of coaching advice he gave me."
The conversation reportedly took place during the 1991 Heisman Trophy presentation. It was a ceremony that featured Florida State quarterback Casey Weldon and Florida quarterback Shane Matthews. Richt was the quarterbacks coach for the Seminoles at the time, and Spurrier was the head coach for the Gators.
Speaking at the Touchdown Club of Athens, Richt made the comments just two days after his Bulldogs topped Spurrier’s No. 6-ranked South Carolina squad 41-30. The win gave Georgia its much-needed first win of the season and propelled the team back into the Top 10 of the rankings.
But regardless of their team’s performances on the field, the two ball coaches have great respect for one another.
Richt also said:
I like [Spurrier] because he’s a straight shooter. I think he wants to win fair and square; he wants to play by the rules. I never had any thoughts that he would try to cheat in a game or cheat in recruiting or anything like that. ... Also, when my wife Katherine had that cancer scare, he was the first guy that picked up the phone and gave me a call.