Mark Richt explains what Miami needs to be a national championship contender

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday August 23, 2016

Mark Richt was a couple yards away from reaching a national championship at Georgia in 2012. Can he get Miami back to that point? He looks at two keys.

When SiriusXM College Sports Nation visited Miami camp recently, former Hurricane Heisman winner and national champion Gino Torretta asked Richt how they can get back to The U.

“From a football standpoint, we need to play the kind of football that excites fans, excites recruits,” Richt said. “You don’t have to guarantee victory every game. We show up every day expecting to win every game, but when people see the kind of football we’re going to play, they’re going to be excited and want to be a part of it, recruits especially.”

Richt is running the offense and will call plays. He's installing an identity. He also has the No. 10-ranked recruiting class for 2017. But Richt also point to facilities. The Dolphins stadium has been renovated, but there's still something that has eluded him for a long time: an indoor practice facility.

“Facility-wise, the indoor is inevitable,” Richt said. “We’ve had a couple days here where, if it was a school day, we’d have missed back-to-back days (due to weather). It could have been a Tuesday and Wednesday of game prep, which would have been unfair to the guys, as far as being ready.”

With regards to that offense, Richt says he wants to play 11 personnel (one back, one tight end, three receivers), but Miami’s roster gives him two talented tight ends in David Njoku (21 catches last year) and Chris Herndon (18 catches). So there could be more heavy looks this year.

Earlier this month, CoachingSearch said Miami had the second-best offseason of anyone, because of what the reenergized Richt has brought in both staff and attitude. Season ticket sales have dramatically increased. There’s excitement back.

But they have to win. When asked how Miami can make the game-changing plays, Richt said it’s simply about making the standard ones.

I tell them most spectacular plays — what fans and media say are spectacular — normally it’s an ordinary play at an extraordinary time,” he said. “You’re just running what you’ve been doing all through camp and spring ball. But it might be with five seconds on the clock and all of a sudden, it’s the greatest play you ever saw.

“You might have made a play better than that in the first quarter. The bottom line is execute, execute, execute. Focus on your job. Don’t focus on ‘I hope we win’ or ‘I’ve got to make the play.’ Focus on your assignment and take care of business.”

The Canes open the season with home games against Florida A&M and FAU, before a trip to Appalachian State. 

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to