Mark Richt isn’t ready to be compared to Georgia’s coaching legends just yet.
Richt is one win away from matching former Georgia head coach Wally Butts, who recorded 140 victories during his tenure from 1939-1960. Richt has 139 career wins, and a win over Southern this Saturday would vault him into a tie with Butts on the leaderboard.
Asked about the looming milestone, Richt brushed it off, saying it’s not quite as significant as perhaps it would have been during Butts’ coaching days.
“In his era, I don’t know how many games he played a year, probably nine or 10,” Richt said. “I don’t know if it’s as significant. If we were only playing 10 games a year I wouldn’t be there yet. … But it’s nice to see your name next to a Wallace Butts.”
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On average, Butts coached 10.7 games per season, meaning most years were in the 10-11 range.
Richt is in his 15th season averaged 13.1 games prior to this year.
However, Butts averaged 6.4 wins per season while Richt has averaged 9.7. In a broader sense, Butts won an average of 59.6 percent of his games while Richt has won an average of 74.3 percent of his.
Georgia houses its athletic programs at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, named after Butts and former Georgia coach Harry Mehre. Located near the building is a statue of former head coach Vince Dooley. Only Butts and Dooley won national titles at Georgia, with Butts collecting his in 1942 and Dooley winning the program’s most recent one in 1980. Dooley has the most wins in Georgia history with 201.
With Richt approaching his 140th win, he was asked about the possibility of his name appearing on a building associated with the athletic program.
“We have a couple of SEC (titles) but you gotta win a national championship before they start naming stuff after you,” Richt said.