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Mark Richt comes to Augusta


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Bulldogs' coach is focused on youth

By Joey Jones| Staff Writer

Friday, March 20, 2009

Georgia head football coach Mark Richt has a lot on his plate these days.

The Bulldogs opened spring practice Tuesday, and a number of his former players -- including Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno -- took part in their pro day at Sanford Stadium early Thursday.

Later Thursday, Richt added some meat and potatoes to his plate at the 22nd annual Boys and Girls Club of Augusta Steak and Burger Dinner at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

"I really do love Augusta. It's a great community," said Richt, heading into his ninth season at Georgia.

Richt, the event's keynote speaker, talked about the value of having a faith-based family and the need for strong leadership in the lives of our youth. He also compared the mission of the Boys and Girls Club to that of his own staff.

"Our job as a staff is to do our job to the best of our ability and also to enrich the lives of the young men we're put in charge of. We want them to reach their potential physically, mentally and emotionally," Richt said.

Richt made the trip to Augusta shortly after watching his former stars showcase their skills.

"What was so exciting for me was to watch these guys try to realize their dreams," Richt said.

On Wednesday, another successful head coach, Tony Dungy, visited the Bulldogs. A former coach of the Indianapolis Colts and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dungy was in Athens, Ga., to hold a joint news conference with Richt to announce the expansion of All Pro Dad, a national fatherhood program, into college football.

Richt also spoke about his oldest son Jon's decision to transfer from Clemson. He said the quarterback likely will move to either an Football Championship Subdivision or Division II school.

"I don't know where he's going to end up, but I know it will be a great place," Richt added. "He's following where he believes the Lord is leading him, and that's so crucial."

Superior Court Judge Danny Craig and state Sen. Jim Whitehead also spoke at the benefit, which raises thousands of dollars annually across the country.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/...ga_515337.shtml

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Go Tech.

...but Mark Richt's a nice guy.

I don't condone the use of that kind of language.

But he is a good guy. He didn't really want to talk football too much (which ruined my entire plans for the interview) but it was cool to listen to him talk about the kids and how important is was for him to be there even with a busy schedule.

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Still up and unused,

Durrd, did you meet Dominique Wilkins when he came to Augusta? I don't remember the function but it was right before the Cavs- Hawks game in Atlanta. He just snuck into town and I just happened to see him on the news.

I did actually. 'Nique might be the coolest athlete I've ever met. Here's the story I wrote:

Wilkins is still taking control

In Focus

By Joey Jones| Staff Writer

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins spent most of his career battling the laws of gravity.

After retiring, he learned that he had another fight on his hands -- this time with diabetes.

So, as he's done many times since his diagnosis in 2000, the man they call "The Human Highlight Film" told his story during the Taking Control of Your Diabetes Conference and Health Fair at the Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites on Saturday.

"I know when people look at me, they say 'this guy is a world-class athlete. What could possibly be wrong with a guy like that, who played on a world-class stage with world-class athletes and that seems to be as successful a professional as he could possibly be?' " Wilkins said. "And I thought I was that guy who things like diabetes and hypertension could never happen to. But I got a rude awakening."

Wilkins lives with type 2 diabetes. He uses his fame to spread the word about diabetes control and prevention during numerous speaking engagements throughout the year.

"Healthcare is my passion; diabetes is my passion because it runs in my family," said Wilkins, who is on the board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. "So, what better person to talk about this than someone who is connected with it."

One of Wilkins' other passions is the Atlanta Hawks. Wilkins, who is the team's all-time leading scorer, is currently in his first year serving as television analyst for Hawks coverage on Fox Sports South and SportSouth.

"It's doing what I've always done except I'm doing it on television," he said. "It's articulating the game from a players point of view. I just want to make sure that I come across as an expert of the game instead of an expert analyst."

The Hawks play the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers tonight at Philips Arena.

In addition to being a Hall of Famer, Wilkins is considered one of the greatest players in Georgia men's basketball history.

In 2003, he interviewed for the Bulldogs' head coaching job following the Jim Harrick debacle, a job that ultimately went to Dennis Felton.

Although Felton was fired in January, Wilkins said he's no longer interested in the position.

"Being connected with the Atlanta Hawks, broadcasting, and diabetes, there wouldn't be enough time," Wilkins said.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/...ba_513150.shtml

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