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Coaching character: Players honor David Bailiff and Mark Richt

Coaching character: Players honor David Bailiff and Mark Richt

 

After what is likely his final collegiate football game, Rice's leading scorer this season had to make one more point.

After he helped Rice snap a four-game losing streak with a 27-7 victory in the season finale against Charlotte, senior running back Luke Turner, in a lip-quivering, 80-second statement, thanked head coach David Bailiff.

The video is compelling and inspiring, a reminder that the impact of coaches is more significant than rings and bowl invitations.

Turner broke his leg during his senior year at Gilmer High School in Texas. Bailiff offered Turner the only Division I scholarship. The player has showcased rare versatility for the Owls, scoring 13 rushing touchdowns, three receiving touchdowns and even passing for five touchdowns. Oh, he also returned kicks, served as the deep snapper and will graduate with a degree in Kinesiology. 

Meanwhile, in Athens, Ga., the University of Georgia decided to part ways with Mark Richt, largely because of his inability to win more titles. Richt's .740 career winning percentage wasn't enough. On Friday, he was introduced as the head coach at the University of Miami. Hurricanes athletic director Blake James highlighted Richt's reputation and character.  

"Coach Richt embodies the competitiveness, the integrity, the passion, the abilities and the experience to lead our young men to ACC and national championships and help them become men of character and success long after," James said, according to ESPN.

One of his former players recounted one of Richt's final messages to the Bulldogs. 

Richt emphasized character, and he wanted his players to think beyond the field. In an interview with NCAA.com, former Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray recalled how Richt would have players discuss how to become good fathers and good husbands.

"Those sessions, most teams don’t do it," said Murray, now with the Kansas City Chiefs. "You just show up to practice all week, and you play. (Richt) wanted to make sure that every week that he had the opportunity to teach us about what it was like to become a man, take care of your family, put God first, those sorts of things."

 

Loran Smith of the Albany Herald recounted how a friend of his had an emotionally troubled son who ended up taking his own life. The friend asked if Richt would speak to his son.

"Even though he did not know the young man, Mark did his best to offer comforting advice, praying with the son over the phone," Smith wrote. "He made the call during a busy time in his schedule. While it was awkward, not knowing the family and having to offer counsel by phone, he did his best to help. He is a very compassionate man." 

Photo Credit: Daily Mail, Dawg Nation

I had a friend who had an emotionally troubled son, who eventually took his life. The distraught father asked if I would arrange for Mark to counsel with his son over the phone. Mark did. Even though he did not know the young man, Mark did his best to offer comforting advice, praying with the son over the phone. He made the call during a busy time in his schedule. While it was awkward, not knowing the family and having to offer counsel by phone, he did his best to help. He is a very compassionate man.
I had a friend who had an emotionally troubled son, who eventually took his life. The distraught father asked if I would arrange for Mark to counsel with his son over the phone. Mark did. Even though he did not know the young man, Mark did his best to offer comforting advice, praying with the son over the phone. He made the call during a busy time in his schedule. While it was awkward, not knowing the family and having to offer counsel by phone, he did his best to help. He is a very compassionate man.
I had a friend who had an emotionally troubled son, who eventually took his life. The distraught father asked if I would arrange for Mark to counsel with his son over the phone. Mark did. Even though he did not know the young man, Mark did his best to offer comforting advice, praying with the son over the phone. He made the call during a busy time in his schedule. While it was awkward, not knowing the family and having to offer counsel by phone, he did his best to help. He is a very compassionate man.

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