University of Miami football coach Mark Richt returned to his alma mater to make it shine.
In the process, he has earned plenty of recognition of his own.
On Tuesday, Richt was named the 2017 Walter Camp Coach of the Year, an award that is selected by the nation’s 130 football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors.
Richt is the second Miami coach (Jimmy Johnson, 1986) and the third from the Atlantic Coast Conference in the past five years (Dabo Swinney, Clemson, 2015 and David Cutcliffe, Duke, 2013) to earn the Walter Camp Coach of the Year honor, according to the Walter Camp Foundation.
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This season, under Richt, the Hurricanes are 10-2 and won their first ACC Coastal Division title that earned them a berth in the league’s championship game, which they lost to Clemson 38-3 last Saturday.
“It is wonderful that the Walter Camp Football Foundation and its voters recognize what we at Miami have known up close for two years — Mark Richt is a phenomenal man and football coach,” UM athletic director Blake James said. “We know that we have a special coach leading our talented staff and incredible young men in our football program, and we are thrilled that Mark has received this prestigious honor.”
“Congrats to @MarkRicht on this very deserved recognition,’’ James posted on Twitter. “The U is #BuildingChampions.’’
This is the first 10-win season for Miami since 2003, and the Hurricanes’ seven league wins were their most since joining the ACC in 2004.
Richt was named the ACC Coach of the Year last week — another first for Miami.
The Hurricanes, No. 10 in the final College Football Playoff rankings released Sunday and No. 11 in the AP and Amway Coaches polls, will play No. 6 Wisconsin (12-1) in the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30. It will be Miami’s first appearance in a New Year’s Six game, which began as part of the College Football Playoff in 2014.
In two seasons as Miami coach, Richt holds a 19-6 record and is 164-57 in 17 years as a college football head coach. His .744 winning percentage ranks as the seventh-best among current FBS coaches with at least five years of experience.