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Richt: ‘Not in the plans’ to return to coaching

ORLANDO, Fla. — Mark Richt, making his first public comments since stepping down as coach of the Miami Hurricanes in late December, said Saturday that he has no current plans to return to coaching.

Richt, in Orlando to announce his new role as a studio analyst for the ACC Network during Miami’s spring game Saturday, said he decided to retire after the Hurricanes’ 34-3 bowl loss because he felt it was the “right time.”

“There’s no easy time to do it for sure,” Richt said. “Especially when you’re the head coach. That’s the hardest part is how it affected other people. I felt it was the right time for me as a person, and I felt like Miami would be in better hands.”

Richt said it wasn’t a decision he considered during the season.

“It wasn’t like I planned it,” Richt said. “It wasn’t like midseason or even a year in advance or whatever, but it came really when the season was over. I was thinking about the possibility of it and then, by the time the bowl game was finished, between myself and God and my wife, it was the right thing to do.”

After going 10-3 in 2017, Miami struggled and finished 7-6 last year. Offensive woes plagued the Hurricanes, but Richt, who called the plays, said Saturday that athletic director Blake James never told him he had to make changes to his staff, which included his son, Jon, who was the quarterbacks coach.

Asked whether frustrations with the offense impacted his decision to step away, Richt declined to comment.

Richt, however, said it’s just “not in the plans” to ever coach again.

“I’m really excited about this ACC Network opportunity,” Richt said. “And I think I can help the fans enjoy the game more and understand the game more, and it allows me to keep staying involved with this game of football. And it also gives me time to see our grandchildren more and our own children. So right now, I’m mostly focused on that.”

And if the College Football Playoff selection committee came calling?

“That would be an interesting thing,” Richt said.

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