If other teams want to steal a program’s assistant coaches, that’s usually a sign the team is doing well.
That hasn’t been the case for Miami in recent seasons, but it may be in the near future. The coaching market is volatile, and programs in need of a spark throw money around. They could look to the Hurricanes, who have a mix of veterans and up-and-comers and are a College Football Playoff contender.
When asked Wednesday if he had anyone in mind to add in January, when the NCAA will allow programs to hire a 10th assistant coach, Richt said he’s waiting to see if he has to fill holes on his current staff.
“I’m waiting to see what happens with everything,” he said. “Staffs can change. I don’t want it to change. I want everybody to stay. I think we’ve got a great thing going. I’m hoping everybody wants to stick around. If I knew 100-percent that everybody would stay, I would have a better idea of what I might do. Not knowing that, it may totally change the dynamic of what I need to bring in.”
Asked to clarify whether his comments were based on something someone said, or were based on the yearly turnover in the profession, Richt said it was the latter.
“I’m not trying to cause a firestorm,” he said. “It’s just coaching. Sometimes coaches move on. Sometimes they stay. When I was at Florida State, that staff stayed together I don’t know how many years. It might have been 12 years in a row when nobody budged, and we had unprecedented success. I think we have that type of staff here right now.”
When he arrived at Miami in Dec. 2015, Richt took his time hiring a staff he believed would be cohesive. The entire staff returned intact this year. The last time an entire UM staff returned and spent the entire season together was 2003, according to program records.
Walton doing well: Richt was positive on the progress of injured running back Mark Walton, who continues to be a presence at practices and meetings after his season-ending ankle injury Oct. 7.
“He’s doing well,” Richt said. “He’s off crutches. It’s an injury he’ll do well with. He’s limping around, really. He’s not got his normal gait yet. He’ll be fine.”
Richt wasn’t asked if Walton, a junior, will return to the program next year. It would not be stunning if Walton turned pro, given his past performance and the short expected pro careers of running backs. Walton has not said anything publicly on the matter (or anything at all since his injury).
Richt said Walton’s spirits remain high.
“He’s good,” Richt said. “Even the day it happened, it wasn’t like it was the end of the world for him. You think it might be for a guy who you perceive to love the game so much, and know that he does. He said the words: ‘You know, that’s football.’ He knows that’s part of it, and injuries happen. He was thankful it wasn’t anything that would really hurt you for the long term, so that was good news.”
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