Going into his 10th season, some folks are wondering how much time is left for him in Athens. I personally am wondering if that is more a reflection of his record (unlikely) or just the fact that we're not used to SEC coaches sticking around for that long.
— The above passage is the only part of Year2's examination of Mark Richt's longevity as the head coach of the Bulldogs with which I take issue. I disagree with that sentiment, for two reasons. First of all, the reason "some folks" are "wondering" about such things is that the "folks" in question know little to nothing about the University of Georgia, its history, its administration, or its fan base. The more you know about the culture in the Classic City, the more certain you are that there's nothing to all this "hot seat" nonsense. If Paul Finebaum says otherwise, it's only because Paul Finebaum doesn't know whereof he speaks, Paul Finebaum is more interested in stirring the pot than in making sense, or both. My second quarrel is separate, yet it also underscores the correctness of my initial objection. In Athens, we are, in fact, "used to SEC coaches sticking around for that long." Counting the head coach whose tenure overlapped with the founding of the Southeastern Conference, the Bulldogs have had eight head coaches as an SEC member institution. Only two of those served fewer than five seasons in that role. Since the SEC came into being, the Red and Black have been led by coaches who served ten years (Harry Mehre), 22 years (Wally Butts), and 25 years (Vince Dooley). As long as Mark Richt is not fired before the end of the 2010 season, half of the head football coaches to have served in Sanford Stadium in the SEC era will have lasted a decade or more between the hedges. I can't speak for the rest of the league, but, at Georgia, we're perfectly accustomed to seeing head coaches last for the long haul. I was in my first quarter as a student at the University of Georgia when my father and I attended the Bulldogs' season opener in Coach Dooley's final fall as the Red and Black coach. I will not be surprised in the slightest if my two-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, is in her first semester as a student at the University of Georgia when she and I attend the Bulldogs' season opener in Coach Richt's final fall as the Red and Black coach. Go 'Dawgs!