Miami reaches agreement with Mark Richt to coach Hurricanes

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CORAL GABLES, FLA. — Mark Richt is going back to where his college career began.

The former Miami quarterback has reached a tentative agreement to be the Hurricanes' next head coach, pending the completion of contract talks, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been signed and the university has not announced the hire publicly.

Richt spent the last 15 seasons as the head coach at Georgia, averaging nearly 10 wins a season and leading the Bulldogs to a pair of Southeastern Conference championships.

He is a South Florida native and played for Howard Schnellenberger at Miami, when the Hurricanes were just becoming the program that would win five national championships in 19 seasons.

Richt takes over a Miami program that hasn't won more than nine games in a season since 2003, and hasn't won a bowl game since 2006.

He was mentioned as a potential fit for Miami almost as soon as the Hurricanes fired Al Golden in October, with five games left on this year's regular-season schedule and one day after the Hurricanes endured the worst loss in school history — a 58-0 defeat to Clemson.

When it became known that Richt and Georgia were parting ways, speculation immediately centered on him being Miami's front-runner even though other candidates were in the mix. Many fans campaigned for months with hope that Miami would hire Butch Davis, who left the school in 2000 and went 52-59 in his subsequent stops with the Cleveland Browns and North Carolina.

But in the end, it was Richt — who, in his farewell news conference from Georgia earlier this week, suggested that he might not coach again after more than three decades of constantly working.

Three days later, he was set to take over at his alma mater.


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