The expectations surrounding the University of Miami’s 2018 season continue to swell – seemingly by the day.
Adding to the wave of optimism, it was announced Wednesday that Miami head coach Mark Richt was added to the preseason watch list for the 2018 Dodd Trophy.
The Dodd Trophy – given by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – honors the head coach of the team who enjoys success on the gridiron while also stressing the importance of strength of schedule, leadership and integrity.
“This list includes a renowned group of individuals who truly embody the principles Bobby Dodd adhered to, such as scholarship, leadership and integrity,” said Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl CEO & President Gary Stokan. “We look forward to seeing which of these coaches set themselves apart from the rest of the pack as the 2018 season unfolds.”
Even though things haven’t gone exactly how he would have wanted up to this point, Richt’s tenure leading the Hurricanes has been successful by many accounts.
Richt, who finished as a finalist for the Dodd Trophy in 2017, has led the Hurricanes to a 19-7 record – the third-best start for a head coach in program history – over his first two seasons with consecutive appearances in bowl games.
This past season, Miami won 10 games, climbed as high as No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings, and won the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division title for the time in school history.
UM’s 2017 campaign led to Richt being named the ACC’s Coach of the Year as well as him winning the 2017 Walter Camp Coach of the Year award.
Richt’s impact on the program has been felt off the field, too.
Since returning to his alma mater, Richt has worked diligently to welcome alumni back around the program and he’s introduced an ongoing campaign to speak to youth at optimist parks around South Florida.
His greatest feat, however, was his push for the school to build an indoor practice facility. Richt went as far as to pledge $1 million of his own money to aid fundraising before the school received a title sponsorship from an alumni donor and broke ground on the project.
Construction on Miami’s IPF ran through the team’s 2018 spring practices and is set to be ready in time for the start of the 2018 regular season.
The winner of the 2018 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Week.