Richt not worried about job status

ATHENS, Ga. --- Some variation of the question has been popping up all over the blogosphere recently.

What impact will Damon Evans' departure as Georgia's athletic director have on Mark Richt's future as football coach?

Richt said Wednesday -- in his first public comments since Evans' DUI arrest on June 30 and resignation four days later -- that it's not something he has given much thought.

"I don't worry about those things. I really don't," Richt said. "My focus is to do my job and my focus is to be obedient to my Lord and Savior. That's kind of what I do. If that's good enough, great."

Evans had quelled speculation at the Southeastern Conference meetings in June that Richt is on the proverbial "hot seat," as some had suggested after an 8-5 season.

"There's no need for that because he's not on a hot seat," Evans said then. "Mark is in a good place with us and I'm glad he's here."

Richt is still at Georgia, 90-27 entering his 10th season, but now Evans is out of his job following his arrest in Atlanta last week and the subsequent fallout, which led to his resignation.

Georgia president Michael Adams said Tuesday that he and a search committee might not have a new athletic director in place for 6-12 months.

Frank Crumley, No. 2 in the department under Evans, is the interim athletic director.

Asked if he has the authority to make calls on the hiring and firing of head coaches, Crumley said, "I asked the question and I will lean heavily on Dr. Adams and his senior administrators. The day-to-day smaller issues we'll go about our own business, but anything out of that, I will lean heavily."

Richt said he was on vacation when he received word last Thursday of Evans' arrest.

"I do feel for Damon and his family," Richt said. "I've been working with Damon for almost 10 years now and had a very good working relationship with Damon and a personal relationship, too, with him and his family. I'm definitely sad for everyone in that regard."

Richt said he hasn't talked to Evans, but has exchanged voice mails with him in the past week.

"We're just going to go on with life and take care of business," Richt said. "I know our football staff and our football team, I think everyone was saddened by the news of losing Damon because he's done a bunch of wonderful things at Georgia and he's been an outstanding athletic director, but we all know we've got a job to do and an exciting season ahead of us.

"Having Frank Crumley as the interim AD now definitely makes the most sense. Frank is a very, very sharp guy."

Richt said he has confidence in Adams' ability to attract a top-notch athletic director, one "that will get the job done and get the job done well. I know that Georgia is one of the finest universities in this country.

"Our athletic program has got to be one of the top five in America, in my opinion. I would think it's a job that a lot of people would be interested in, a lot of quality people."

Reach Marc Weiszer at marc.weiszer@morris.com.

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