Miami coach Mark Richt retires after disappointing third season with Hurricanes

MIAMI, Fl (CBS Sports) In a surprising and unexpected move, Miami coach Mark Richt has informed school officials on Sunday that he is retiring effective immediately, ending his tenure with the Hurricanes after three seasons with the program. Miami confirmed as much Sunday in an official release sent out by athletic director Blake James.

A few hours ago, I informed UM Director of Athletics Blake James that it is time for me to retire from coaching so I am stepping down as the Head Coach of UM Football. The decision came after a great deal of thought, discussions with my family, and prayer. This was my decision.

The University of Miami has been a part of my life for more than three decades. It shaped me as a young man and provided me with the coaching opportunity of a lifetime. My love for The U is simply great. My true desire is for our football program to return to greatness, and while terribly difficult, I feel that stepping down is in the best interests of the program.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to the entire Hurricane Family for welcoming me back home and for supporting the outstanding young men in our program. I only wish that we could have achieved greater things in return. I also want to thank President Frenk and Blake for their incredible support, as well as the outstanding men and women in UM Athletics. Most importantly, I want to thank the incredible coaches, staff, and their families who gave their all to The U each and every day, and our student-athletes, who wore The U jersey with pride and who worked hard towards their degree.

Katharyn and I will be cheering on the Canes in the years to come and The U will never leave our hearts.

Miami just finished a disappointing 7-6 season that ended in an embarrassing 35-3 loss to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl. Richt went 26-13 in three years at his alma mater, leading the Canes to a 10-3 mark and Orange Bowl berth in 2017 after debuting with a 9-4 record in 2016. However, following a 24-14 loss to Pitt last November, Miami never regained the energy and success they enjoyed during much of last season. A quarterback carousel between Malik Rosier and N'Kosi Perry plagued the offense for the entire 2018 season, and mounting criticism of Richt's son, quarterbacks coach Jon Richt, became impossible to ignore.

Before joining Miami, Richt went 145-51 in 15 years at Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to nine seasons with double-digit wins and a 9-5 bowl record but never winning a national championship.

Coach Mark Stoops and Mario Cristobal have emerged as the top two targets for Miami.