Atlanta — Mark Richt stepped down as Georgia’s coach on Sunday in what was called a “mutual” decision but looked like a firing.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said in a statement that he met with Richt on Sunday morning “to discuss the status of our football program.” McGarity said the two “mutually agreed that he would step down as head coach and would have the opportunity to accept other duties and responsibilities at UGA following the bowl game.”
Georgia (9-3) ended its regular season with Saturday’s 13-7 win over Georgia Tech. It was clear following the game Richt had no plans to step down. He said he planned to begin recruiting “and getting prepared for the future at Georgia.”
Richt will coach the Bulldogs in their bowl game as the search for his successor begins.
Richt was 145-51 with two SEC championships. Only Vince Dooley (201) won more games at Georgia.
Virginia Tech hires Fuente
Virginia Tech hired Memphis’ Justin Fuente as its next football coach, bringing a quick end to its search for a successor to Frank Beamer.
Beamer is retiring after 29 seasons and will now be followed by a 39-year-old coach who has spent the past four seasons at Memphis, turning a struggling program into a winner.
The Tigers, who compete in the American Athletic Conference, were 10-3 last season, including a 55-48, double-overtime victory against BYU in the Miami Beach Bowl.
They are 9-3 this season, including a 63-0 victory against SMU on Saturday in Fuente’s final game.
Memphis has named offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey as its interim head coach while it begins seeking a permanent replacement for Fuente, who left Sunday to take over Virginia Tech’s program.
Campbell heads to Cyclones
Iowa State announced the hiring of Toledo coach Matt Campbell, saying he has agreed to a six-year contract starting at $2 million for 2016. Campbell will replace Paul Rhoads, who was fired a week ago after seven seasons.
Campbell is now the youngest coach at a Power Five school. He went 35-15 in four seasons with the Rockets, including 9-2 this season with victories over Iowa State and Arkansas.
Mike London resigned after failing to guide Virginia to a winning season in five of his six seasons as coach.
... Purdue coach Darrell Hazell announced that offensive coordinator John Shoop, defensive coordinator Greg Hudson and defensive tackles coach Rubin Carter will not return next season.
... Penn State fired offensive coordinator John Donovan.
... Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has announced that junior quarterback Patrick Towles will transfer after starting 10 games this season.