Mark Richt has enjoyed a successful run as coach at Georgia since arriving in Athens more than a decade ago. But had he listened to Steve Spurrier, Richt might never have coached "Between the Hedges."
Richt recalled a piece of advice he received from Spurrier almost 22 years ago, when the coaches attended the 1991 Heisman Trophy ceremony.
"[Spurrier] told me, 'Do not under any circumstances take the Georgia job,'" Richt said Monday while speaking to the Touchdown Club of Athens, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. "That was the one bit of coaching advice he gave me."
At the time of that conversation, Richt was an assistant at Florida State and helped coach then-Seminoles quarterback Casey Weldon, the 1991 Heisman runner-up. Spurrier had completed his second season as Florida's head coach in 1991, when Gators quarterback Shane Matthews also was a Heisman finalist.
Richt eventually was hired as Georgia's coach approximately nine years later, replacing Jim Donnan in December 2000. A two-time SEC Coach of the Year, Richt has compiled a 119-41 record at Georgia, guiding the Bulldogs to two conference titles and three BCS bowl games.
Richt's comments came two days after Georgia recorded a much-needed 41-30 victory over Spurrier's South Carolina squad. The win helped the Bulldogs (1-1) climb to No. 9 in this week's AP rankings, while the Gamecocks (1-1) dropped seven spots to No. 13.
Richt also said Monday that he respects and likes Spurrier.
"I like him because he's a straight shooter," Richt said, according to the Banner-Herald. "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."