Athens – Former Georgia football coach Mark Richt released the news on Thursday evening that has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
”I have been waddling around lately and people have asked me what’s wrong,” Richt said, via his Twitter. “I’ve decided to tell everyone at the same time. I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Truthfully I look at it as a momentary light affliction compared to the future glory in heaven. Thank you Jesus for promising us a future blessing of a glorified body that has no sin and no disease. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the blessings that I do have. See you on the ACC Network!”
Richt coached at Georgia from 2001-2015, where he accumulated a 145-51 record during his tenure in Athens. He led the Bulldogs to two SEC Championships (2002, 2005), five SEC East titles (2002, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2012) and is currently the school’s second-winningest coach behind Vince Dooley. Richt had a .740 winning percentage in 15 seasons at Georgia.
Richt parted ways from his job at Georgia in 2015 and went on to become the head coach at Miami (FL), which is his alma mater. He coached the Hurricanes for three seasons and finished with an overall record of 26-13. Richt then pursued a job at the ACC Network following his coaching career and currently serves as an analyst during the season.
Richt is beloved by his former players because of his passion for coaching. He is also heavily involved in ministry and is well-liked by members of the Athens and Miami communities, respectively. Richt recently moved back to the Classic City and resides there with his wife, Kathryn. He is currently surrounded by his immediate family, who live around the greater-Athens area.
Earlier this week, Richt attended the David Pollack Foundation annual golf tournament at the Georgia Club in Statham. He spent time with current and former UGA players during the event. A few individuals who attended the event remarked that Richt’s health did not look to be in good condition, according to Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Richt is currently 61 years old and has had health problems in the past. He suffered a heart attack in 2019, but has since fully recovered. He has worked at the ACC Network through the past two football seasons and plans to keep working, despite this recent announcement.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart released a statement following the tragic news.
“Saddened after hearing the news about Coach Richt,” Smart said in a tweet released on Friday morning. “Coach Richt embodies everything that a #DGD represents. My thoughts go out to Coach, Katharyn & his whole family. Dawg Nation will be behind you the whole way.”
Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.
Other famous figures have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, including boxer Muhammad Ali and Canadian-American actor Michael J. Fox.