South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier tried to impart some advice on Mark Richt about 22 years ago.
It was at the 1991 Heisman Trophy ceremony. Richt coached runner-up Casey Weldon as quarterbacks coach at Florida State and Spurrier coached finalist Shane Matthews as Florida’s head man.
“He told me: ‘Do not under any circumstance take the Georgia job,’” Richt said when he met spoke to the Touchdown Club of Athens on Monday. “That was the one bit of coaching advice he gave me.”
Richt said that contrary to some opinion, he enjoys Spurrier and respects him as a coach, but even more as a person.
“I like him because he’s a straight shooter,” Richt said. “I think he wants to win fair and square; he wants to play by the rules. I never had any thoughts that he would try to cheat in a game or cheat in recruiting or anything like that.”
“Also, when my wife Katherine had that cancer scare, he was the first guy that picked up the phone and gave me a call,” Richt said.
Richt’s mother was in attendance and jokingly queried whether or not he shook hands with Spurrier after Georgia’s 41-30 victory on Saturday. Richt said the two coaches did shake hands.
Monday’s session marked the second time Richt spoke to the Athens club this year after it’s inaugural meeting on Aug. 26. It was the club’s first and only luncheon session of the year, which is designated for a Richt appearance with select seniors.
Because of scheduling conflicts, tight end Arthur Lynch was the only Bulldog to make it.
Lynch spoke about his path to Georgia and the bonds he’s built since. The Massachusetts native decommitted from Boston College before signing with the Bulldogs in spring 2009.
“It’s good to kind of share my experience at UGA,” Lynch said. “I think it’s been kind of different than other student athletes’ here. It’s a blessing that Coach Richt thinks highly enough for me to go and represent the team.”
Lynch was one of the many Bulldogs responsible for blocking South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on Saturday. Richt said he was impressed with Georgia’s gameplan execution and that it was a major reason Clowney wasn’t as big of a factor as many predicted.
Clowney grabbed attention this offseason when he told reporters that Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray was scared of him. Richt indirectly offered a different sentiment — about a different player — on Monday.
“I know people are scared of Clowney but I’d be scared if I had to tackle No. 3 over and over,” Richt said of running back Todd Gurley.
Richt will speak with the Touchdown Club again on Nov. 25 with Danny Ford, coach of the 1981 national champion Clemson Tigers.