Mark Richt, the former Miami Hurricanes head football coach who led his alma mater to their first ACC Championship Game appearance during his tenure in Coral Gables, is now facing an even bigger battle off the field.
The 61-year-old announced Thursday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that starts with tremors and can worsen as the condition progresses.
"Truthfully, I look at it as a momentary light affliction compared to the future glory in heaven,” Richt said in a message posted on social media. “Thank you Jesus for promising us a future blessing of a glorified body that has no sin and no disease.”
Richt added in the message that he had been “waddling around lately” and people had been asking him what was wrong.
After spending four seasons mostly as a backup quarterback for the ‘Canes from 1979 to 1982, Richt began his coaching career as an assistant that included 15 seasons and two national titles won while at Florida State.
He got his first head coaching job in 2001 at Georgia, leading the Bulldogs for 15 seasons that included two SEC titles before being dismissed in December 2015.
One week later, he was hired by Miami and led the Hurricanes for three seasons that included the first bowl win for the program in a decade during the 2016 season and a win over FSU in 2017 that ended a seven game losing streak to the ‘Noles.
Miami started the 2017 season with 10 straight wins before advancing to their first ACC Championship Game, ending the season with their first Orange Bowl appearance since the 2003 season.
He was named the ACC’s Coach of The Year before retiring after the 2018 season.
Richt has spent the last two season as an analyst for the ACC Network, where he will continue to work after the diagnosis according to his message.