AMELIA ISLAND — Mark Richt has a couple things in common with Greg Louganis, this in particular: they can both execute a backflip off the high dive.
Richt was asked about his favorite UM memories this week at the ACC’s spring meetings. He flashed back to the times he and his football buddies would hang out at the Hurricanes’ pool.
That’s where they saw Louganis, a future UM Sports Hall of Famer and former Olympic gold medalist who is widely considered the best diver in history. Louganis enrolled at UM in 1978, the same year Richt arrived from Boca Raton High.
“We would watch him,” Richt said. “You’d go to the pool, because that’s where the girls were, right? So we’d watch the divers work out and say, that guy’s pretty good. Turns out he was the best in the world, like, ever. I had a lot of respect for him.”
Richt eventually learned Louganis’ craft, but from him.
“I was able to perfect a couple dives from those days,” Richt said. “They were usually in the middle of the night, quite frankly. They wouldn’t let the regular students jump during office hours. There were a few times we found our way in there, had a little fun at night.”
Richt brought his talent to Georgia, where he has done a backflip off the 10-meter “every year for the last 15 years,” he said.
“We’ll continue that trend [at Miami]. In camp, they’ll see it.”
This is the standard he set at Georgia: