There is no better way to end an autumn Saturday than by updating the Mark Richt Victory Watch.
Coach Richt arrived in Athens at the age of 40 after learning his craft under Bobby Bowden, who has coached well past the typical retirement age. On the day Coach Richt was hired to coach the Bulldogs, I did a little simple math and came to the realization that, if he averaged eight wins a year and coached until the age of 65, that would net him 200 wins . . . one shy of Vince Dooley's school record of 201.
That gave me confidence to state from the outset that Coach Richt one day would replace Coach Dooley as the winningest coach in Georgia football history. As a result, I have counted down each victory on the march to immortality in the Red and Black record book.
The Mark Richt Victory Watch now stands at 63. Coach Richt is just 138 wins shy of tying Coach Dooley.
At 63-18, Mark Richt has the best record in school history after 81 games on the job. At the same point in their respective careers, Harry Mehre (50-28-3), Wally Butts (58-21-2), Vince Dooley (54-23-4), and Ray Goff (46-34-1) all had fewer wins and more losses than Coach Richt.
I would note, as well, that Coach Goff's 81st game as the head coach at his alma mater also was his last, meaning that, next Saturday, Coach Richt will become the fourth longest-serving head coach in Georgia football history. The company kept by the Classic City Canines' current coach continues to become steadily more elite each week and Mark Richt is holding his own with his legendary predecessors.