CLEMSON – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, who was runner-up for Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year on Tuesday, spent part of his weekly press conference lauding the winner, Miami’s Mark Richt.
Richt, whose Hurricanes will play Clemson in Saturday night’s ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte, guided Miami to a 10-1 overall record and 7-1 league mark in his second season at his alma mater after spending 15 seasons at Georgia.
“It was a great move for him,” Swinney said. “All he did was win at Georgia. All he’s ever done is win. He’s great for our league.
“I’ve always respected Mark Richt. I think he’s a great man who truly cares about his players. He’s one of the great men in this business. He’s always been a very easy guy to deal with.”
Swinney also said that he wasn’t surprised that Richt has led Miami to a 10-win season so quickly.
“It’s Miami,” he said. “They only have to go in about a 30-mile radius and they’ve got plenty of talent. It’s not a surprise at all.”
Miami’s 10 wins this season are the most for the program since 2003. Richt is a semifinalist for the 2017 George Munger College Coach of the Year Award presented by the Maxwell Football Club.
Richt is 19-5 at Miami and 164-56 overall in 17 seasons as a head coach; his winning percentage of .745 ranks seventh among FBS coaches with a minimum of five years of experience.
Richt received 41 votes from a panel of media members and league coaches while Swinney was second with 10 votes. Boston College coach Steve Addazio received five votes, Virginia’s Bronco Mendenhall two and Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson one.
Scott Keepfer, The Greenville News