CORAL GABLES — She led a busy life as the wife of Georgia’s coach. Now that Mark Richt is leading Miami, Katharyn Richt isn’t planning to grab a book and hit the beach.
Katharyn — who raised four children in Athens, Ga. and last month graduated from nursing school — will be involved with the Hurricanes in several ways, Mark told the Post recently.
On game days, she’ll reprise one of her more visible roles: She will be Miami’s water girl, an activity she started at Georgia in 2005. Some coaches’ wives like to stay in a cushy suite. Katharyn, who met her husband when she was a Florida State cheerleader and he was a graduate assistant coach, likes being on the sidelines.
“I can see the backs of the jerseys and put a face with a name,” she said in a 2013 interview. “I enjoy it. It gives me something to do during games, so that’s always nice. I don’t like to just sit and watch. I like to stay busy.”
She earned an FSU economics degree in 1987 — the same year she and Mark married — and they had their first child in 1990. She began pursuing a nursing degree in 2009 in order to help those in need. Their Christian faith is a central part of life for the Richts, who live in Coconut Grove. In 2011 they sold their Georgia lake house, valued at nearly $2 million, to contribute more to charity. They have also taken several mission trips aboard.
This is far less important work, but she gives a full effort.
“Some people know and some people don’t know, she goes early with the rest of the trainers and helps prepare everything,” Mark said. “She doesn’t just show up and pour the water. She’s there doing all the prep work and the breakdown work afterward.”
Mark said she also plans to attend more events since the two are empty-nesters. Jon, 26, is UM’s quarterbacks coach (and along with wife Anna, has daughter Jadyn Elise, who turns 2 in July). David, 21, a musician, is at Belmont University. Zach, 20, is attending high school in Orlando. Anya, 19, is at a Missouri prep school.
“When we first took the job at Georgia [in 2001], we had four pretty young children,” Mark said. “One of my main goals for her was that she not feel like she had to be the First Lady of Georgia Football, and wear herself out completely with that and also worry about raising our kids. I wanted her to be a mom, raise our kids and whatever you can make it to, OK.
“Now she has more time to do the things, even a recruiting weekend, a recruiting dinner, their moms are in town and she can be on campus and spend time. I wouldn’t even ask those things in the past.”
As she will have more time to devote to the Hurricanes, so will he.
“As a father, you want to go home,” he said. “You want to see your kids. You want to go to a soccer game. You want to go to a football game. You want to do this, you want to do that. Now they’re gone. I have less things pulling at me and my attention that I can move toward the program.”
And as they expected, they’re enjoying life in their new home.
“We live 10 minutes away,” Richt said. “We walk out of our community to 40, 50 different restaurants and shopping places. It’s really great. Everybody’s on vacation around us.”