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Cause for Celebration: Mark Richt is Even Better Than You Think

Last night, Hobnail_Boot offered an interesting observation:

Coach Richt's record over his first 7 seasons between the hedges is a sparkly 72-19 (79.1%). Jim Donnan's career record at Georgia over his 5-year run was 40-19 (67.8%).

So what?, you say? Notice the same number of losses. For Donnan to have attained the same record as Coach Richt had he been retained by Vince Dooley, he would have had to go on an all-time 33-game winning streak (UVA + 32 more wins).

That boggles my mind.

That got me thinking, and, for what it’s worth, here’s how many games it took every Georgia coach who lasted that long to lose 19 times:

  1. Mark Richt: 84 games

  2. Vince Dooley: 66 games

  3. Wally Butts: 64 games

  4. Jim Donnan: 58 games

  5. Harry Mehre: 56 games

  6. Ray Goff: 48 games

Those, by the way, are the only Red and Black head honchos to have made it as far as 19 losses. George Woodruff (16 losses), Johnny Griffith (16), and W.A. Cunningham (18) all ended their tenures in the Classic City without dropping 19 decisions.

Bear in mind that the above list includes the guys whose career win tallies rank first (Coach Dooley, 201), second (Coach Butts, 140), third (Coach Richt, 72), fourth (Coach Mehre, 59), fifth (Coach Goff, 46), and seventh (Coach Donnan, 40) in school history.

As you can see, there’s some bunching in there. While Coach Goff was by far the worst coach of the group, he lost his 19th game only eight games earlier than Coach Mehre, who was neck-and-neck with Coach Donnan, from whom he was separated by a scant two outings.

Likewise, a six-game span separates Coach Donnan from Coach Butts, who, once again, trailed Coach Dooley by just two games. Coach Dooley, on the other hand, is behind Coach Richt by . . . 18 games?

I mean, I knew Coach Richt was the best coach in Georgia history, but dang.

Here’s hoping we don’t have the opportunity to measure how long it took each coach to get to 20 losses a year from now.

Go ‘Dawgs!