ROME, Ga. (BP) — A celebration this Thursday at Shorter University will center around progress over the last year and what the future holds as well as welcome former Georgia coach and newly inducted Hall of Famer Mark Richt as the featured speaker.
The university’s President’s Gala, to be held Dec. 7 at the Winthrop-King Centre, is an annual event that benefits student scholarships and has featured speakers such as former baseball great Darryl Strawberry in addition to community leaders. Shorter President Don Dowless will also address attendees.
A limited number of tickets remain as of 1 p.m. Eastern time, Dec. 4 and can be purchased through Shorter University, which is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.
Richt’s 18 years as a head coach began at UGA in 2001, where in his second season he led the Bulldogs to their first SEC championship in 20 years. Under his tenure, Georgia would claim another SEC title and five SEC East championships, while Richt would become a two-time SEC Coach of the Year.
His second stint as a head coach came at the University of Miami, Richt’s alma mater. In his second season he led the Hurricanes to their first ACC Coastal title in 2017, peaking at No. 2 in the national rankings during a 16-game winning streak.
At the beginning of his career, Richt’s life was changed as a Florida State graduate assistant when head coach Bobby Bowden addressed eternal matters following the shooting death of a player.
“Coach Bowden talked about his own faith, where he had assurance of salvation, eternal life with Christ in heaven,” Richt told BP in 2002, days before coaching against his mentor in the Sugar Bowl.
Nearly 20 years later, the two appeared together at the NAMB Send Luncheon during the SBC Annual Meeting in Nashville.
Richt is a member of the Peach Bowl Hall of Fame and Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. In January 2023 the announcement came of his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. That will take place Dec. 5 – two days before his Shorter appearance – during the 65th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner in Las Vegas.