Renewed focus on athletics will make Miami great again

Welcome to a new chapter of University of Miami football.

On Friday, the university officially announced the hire of former Miami Hurricane and University of Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt to the resounding approval of students, alumni and fans. After just a little over a month of a highly anticipated search, Director of Athletics Blake James hired the best available candidate to turn our football team around after a rough season of historic proportions. In his 15 years in the competitive SEC, Richt held an impressive career record of 145-51. Richt won two conference championships in the SEC, while Miami hasn’t won a conference title since moving to the ACC in 2004.

According to widespread reports, Richt is being compensated at around $4 million a year, the highest salary ever offered to a head coach by UM. Despite the storied legacy of our football program, the resources allocated to it have never been comparable to the budgets of larger, big-money football schools. Richt’s hiring signifies that the Board of Trustees and administration are ready to invest serious time, attention and money into revamping our football team into a force to be reckoned with once again. James already has his sights set on a new athletics center, including an indoor practice facility.

It looks like the university administration has finally heard the passionate fans who want to see UM return to its position at the top of the food chain. With a strong coach, great recruits and the new investments that will be made in the infrastructure of the program, Hurricanes football will push our school back into the national spotlight. The administration knows that strong athletic victories will boost campus morale, bring in generous donations and attract the attention of prospective students all over the country.

“This is just one part of the vision for the school,” said trustee Stuart Miller, as reported by the Sun Sentinel. “There’s football, there’s the medical [component], there are other parts – it’s all part of making this a great university.”

We have sufficient resources, and it’s about time the university takes advantage of them. If Richt is able to bring out the full potential of our football team, these investments could show the school and the world that UM still produces champions.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.