Richt: Spurrier's job advice was in jest

ATHENS, Ga. -- Mark Richt generated headlines earlier this week by sharing some advice that then-Florida coach Steve Spurrier gave him while Richt was an assistant coach at Florida State.

“He told me, 'Do not under any circumstances take the Georgia job.' That was the one bit of coaching advice he gave me,” Richt told the Athens Touchdown Club on Monday, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

Richt, now in his 13th season as Georgia's coach, elaborated on his statement after Wednesday's practice, saying that Spurrier's comments seemed to be in jest.

“I think he was just playfully saying, 'I wouldn't take that Georgia job if I was you.' But it was not that big of a deal,” Richt said.

Regarding his comments to the local boosters, Richt said he believed his conversation with Spurrier occurred while he was a coveted Florida State assistant whose name began to circle as a candidate to replace Jim Donnan as the Bulldogs' coach in late 2000.

Richt accepted athletic director Vince Dooley's offer to become Georgia's new coach on Dec. 26, 2000, despite Spurrier's playful warning.

“I think it was right before I took the job. I think he knew I'd interviewed for it,” Richt said. “… It might have been five years prior. I don't know when it was, but he was halfway playing around, I think.”

Richt has won two SEC titles, five SEC East championships and posted a 119-41 record at Georgia since ignoring the recommendation from Spurrier, whose Florida teams dominated Georgia throughout the 1990s.

Spurrier beat Richt in 2001, their one head-to-head meeting as the head coaches at Florida and Georgia. Richt owns a 5-4 mark against South Carolina since Spurrier became the Gamecocks' head coach in 2005, including a 41-30 victory last weekend.