As a proud two-time graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology (BSEE ’00, BS MGT ’93), and football season ticket holder, this will likely be the last (or only) positive thing I’ll say about someone or something associated with the University of Georgia, whom I hate with perfect hatred. Nevertheless, their recently fired head coach Mark Richt couldn’t have departed his place of employment over the past 15 years (during which he’s accumulated a phenomenal 145-51 record) with more grace. (He will stay on to coach Georgia’s upcoming bowl game.)
Richt, an evangelical Christian, said the following at his press conference yesterday:
The other thing is, as I’ve said before, I really want God’s will for me. I’m really at peace that it was part of his plan. I’m really just excited about what’s coming down the road, and I want to continue to try to be as obedient as I can be to the Lord, and I’ll see what he has in mind for Katharyn and I. We’re both at peace. We’ve know we’ve both been blessed abundantly to be at the University of Georgia. Let’s face it. Fifteen years at a major institution, an SEC school, just to get the job to begin with is kind of a miracle. We’re thankful. We’re blessed.
This is exactly the right attitude. Even though it’s deeply disappointing, even heartbreaking, Richt doesn’t doubt for a moment that this new chapter in his life is also a part of God’s plan. Therefore, even for this setback he can be grateful.
Friedrich Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can endure almost any how.” Given that he coaches in the upper echelon of a famously cutthroat profession, it may surprise many people that Richt’s why isn’t college football glory but God’s glory. Even as a pastor, how often do I lose sight of this? When even one thing goes wrong with my job, I’m liable to fall apart! As if it were about me!
Regardless, Richt has a why that’s infinitely bigger than his career, and his life bears witness to this fact.
May we all learn from his example.
(Also, may Richt now be hired by the University of South Carolina and beat his former employer’s team every year! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 😉)