Mark Richt to Drop $1 Million of His Own Money on New Hurricanes Facilities
Future Canes coach Mark Richt with former Canes coach Randy Shannon.
Photo by U.S. Army/Dustin Senger
New Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt didn't come to Miami to build his resume; he didn't come simply for a paycheck; and he didn't come to mess around. He came to rebuild a legacy, and in case anyone doubted that, Richt reportedly plans to donate $1 million of his own money to the school in order to build a new indoor practice facility.
That's at least according to a report from the Palm Beach Post. Boosters told the paper off the record that Richt announced he plans to make the gift. The school, however, is mum on the details.
The University of Miami is one of the few schools in the big five conferences that is currently without an indoor facility for their football players. Instead, players practice outside in the notorious South Florida heat and humidity. Outdoor practices are cancelled altogether when a thunderstorm comes through.
Meanwhile, other schools with big donor bases have practically turned building fancier and fancier facilities into an arms race rivaling the Cold War.
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The thinking goes that state-of-the-art facilities and comfy surroundings can make all the difference when it comes to recruiting talent, and the Canes' outdated shindigs have reportedly been a kink in their recruiting pitch.
Richt has made the completion of a new indoor facility a priority since the first day he signed with the Canes.
The school is reportedly set to announce plans for the facilities in the coming weeks. The total bill is expected to be a bit north of $25 million total, and the school is still rounding up donations to make it happen.
The exact details of Richt's salary are unknown because UM is a private school, but it's been reported that his yearly pay is close to the $4 million he made during his final year at the University of Georgia. That's far more than previous Canes head coaches have cashed. Even if Richt turns around and gives $1 million back to UM, he'll still make more than the reported $2.5 million previous coach Al Golden made in his final year.
Still, it's a strong signal that Richt, a UM alum, intends to do whatever he can to make the team a competitor again. Richt has previously said he hopes to keep the job for a long time. He's certainly putting his money where his mouth is.
Richt's donation isn't entirely unprecedented. Just last year, UCLA Bruins head coach Jim L. Mora and his family made an unspecified but reportedly large donation to his school's own new facilities. Mora had previous NFL head coaching experience (and paychecks) and is the son of a longtime NFL head coach.
However, a coach dropping such a large donation to his own school before he's even called a play seems to be almost unprecedented.