University of Miami

Former Hurricanes coach Mark Richt says he’s ‘doing fine’ after suffering heart attack

Former University of Miami football coach Mark Richt, 59, posted on Twitter late Monday morning that he suffered a heart attack, but is “doing fine.”

Now a college football analyst for the ACC Network, Richt spent three seasons leading his alma mater before retiring December 30, 2018.

“I am assuming word travels fast. So I wanted to be able to inform everyone that I did have a heart attack this morning. I am doing fine,” Richt tweeted. “As I went through the experience I had peace knowing I was going to heaven but I was going to miss my wife. I plan to be at work this week.”

Richt, who previously coached at Georgia, guided the Hurricanes to a No. 2 ranking and Orange Bowl appearance during his three-year tenure in Coral Gables, where current Miami head coach Manny Diaz served as his defensive coordinator.

“Before we begin,’’ Diaz said Monday afternoon at his weekly news conference, “as you probably all heard, we got the news of coach Richt suffering a heart attack this morning. Obviously on behalf of everybody in the University of Miami community, our best thoughts and wishes go out to Mark and Katharyn. He is and will always be one of us. He is and will always be a Hurricane. And it’s good to know that he’s doing well and resting well. And just, that was quite [the] news to get this morning, but we’re really glad that Mark’s OK.”

Richt’s decision to retire “came after a great deal of thought, discussions with my family, and prayer,” Richt wrote in a prepared statement about his retirement, the Miami Herald previously reported. “This was my decision. The University of Miami has been a part of my life for more than three decades. It shaped me as a young man and provided me with the coaching opportunity of a lifetime. My love for The U is simply great. My true desire is for our football program to return to greatness, and while terribly difficult, I feel that stepping down is in the best interests of the program.”

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During the ACC Media Days this past summer, Richt told the Herald his health had taken a toll from the stress and pace of coaching at Miami and trying to make the Canes great again.

“How I was treating my body wasn’t good, wasn’t healthy for me,’’ Richt said back then. “I just felt like I needed to stop.’’

After Richt posted his tweet Monday morning, Diaz replied to him on Twitter, “Glad you are well!” The tweet included an emoji of praying hands.

More notables

  • Diaz indicated during his weekly radio interview on WQAM that the situation is still pending involving receiver Jeff Thomas, who was suspended Saturday for an unspecified violation of team rules. And in his weekly news conference later that afternoon, Diaz reiterated that the situation is “still up in the air,” indicating that the team could have an update on Thomas at any point in the day.

  • Diaz said running back DeeJay Dallas (apparent knee), cornerback Trajan Bandy (unspecified) and linebacker Michael Pinckney (unspecified) will be examined later Monday for injuries sustained in Saturday’s game.
  • After Turner Davidson (0 for 2) and Bubba Baxa (0 for 1) missed a combined three field-goal attempts against Georgia Tech, Diaz was asked about Camden Price’s availability for Miami’s upcoming game against Pittsburgh: “We for sure don’t know who will kick against Pitt, but Camden Price is going to be in the mix this week,” he said. “It’s been good to have him back and getting more practice, where we feel like he’ll be game ready to go in.” Price is 2 for 2 on extra points this season.

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Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.
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