AUBURN, Ala. – Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said Saturday that he expects Mark Richt to remain the Bulldogs coach next season.
"Sure I do," McGarity said. "Absolutely."
McGarity made his comments more than than two hours before the kickoff of Georgia’s 49-31 loss to No. 2 Auburn that dropped the Bulldogs to 5-6 on the season.
Questions about Richt’s job security intensified during a 1-4 start that followed a five-loss 2009 campaign, but the Bulldogs won four of five games before Saturday.
"I fully expect Mark Richt to be with us for awhile," McGarity said.
Later he added: "Based on the first 10 games, there’s no question about that."
McGarity’s comments came the same day that a report said that Richt is a target in Colorado’s search for a new football coach.
The Denver Post, citing an unnamed source close to Colorado’s search, said the school is interested in talking to Richt to fill the opening created when Dan Hawkins was fired earlier this week.
Richt laughed when asked about his name coming up with the Colorado job.
"Georgia’s my home," he said.
McGarity said he did not know about the report until asked about it in the press box.
"That’s the first I’ve heard of that," he said.
Richt, under contract through the end of the 2013 season, is 95-33 in 10 seasons at Georgia.
"It’s not like we’re dealing with situations here of lopsided losses, of being non-competitive," McGarity said. "Were there some games we wish we would have won by maybe taking care of the ball a little better or making certain tackles or interceptions? You go back and play that through your mind, and if you dwell on it too long, it’ll just eat you up.
"You’ve just got to focus on getting better every day and do what you can do to be the best you can be."
Former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, now an analyst with ESPN, has had preliminary talks with Colorado, according to the report.
Richt makes approximately $2.8 million per year. Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn has said the school likely can’t go over $2 million for its new hire.
Richt lived in Broomfield, Colo., just outside Boulder, for more than six years until he was 13.
Richt has said that he wants to finish his coaching career at Georgia.
McGarity said that’s the sense he has as well.
"He and I, we’ve had great discussions all season long," McGarity said. "We’ve been very frank with each other and discussed a lot of things just in generalities. No, I have seen nothing but all signs pointing of him wanting to stay at the University of Georgia."