MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Hours after Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt announced his retirement, reaction to the news has poured in from fans and former players.
South Floridians also spoke out about what they described as a disappointing season for the Miami Dolphins.
The mood was somber at the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables, Sunday.
“A little disappointed, ’cause I was hoping next year [he would] finish it off strong,” said UM junior Michael Holzship, “and now we’re going to have a new coach, so things are going to be different.”
The team was ranked as high as No. 2 in the country just a year ago, but the most recent season saw the ‘Canes struggling on the road.
“Last season was the best season I had ever experienced, so I thought that we were headed upward,” said UM senior Alan Robinson. “I thought we were heading for a national championship.”
Other ‘Canes supporters said their current focus is on the future.
“It’s tough, very tough,” said fan Thomas Willis. “We need someone new to come in here and just rejuvenate everything.”
News of Richt’s retirement spread quickly on social media, as former players and other professional athletes with South Florida ties weighed in.
Some can’t help but see similarities between the ‘Canes and the Miami Dolphins, especially after disappointing years for both teams.
“They’re very similar. We’ll have to start again from scratch,” said Dolphins fan Dean Chimerakish.
As with the ‘Canes, expectations were high for the Dolphins when fall football came to town.
“I had high hopes, honestly,” said fan Jose Lamas.
But after a seven-win season and missing out on the playoffs, the Fins faithful said it’s time to rebuild.
One fan was especially critical of those in charge of running the team.
“I’ve been here my whole life, born and raised. It’s time to get rid of them all — [Adam] Gase, [Mike] Tannenbaum,” said Willis. “Stephen Ross is a good owner, I think, but get rid of them all, you know? See something else.”
Could possible changes ahead bring about success in the post-season?
“The Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game since I was 14 years old, and I’m 32 right now, so that should answer your question,” said Lamas.
For other fans, there’s always the Heat … who lost against the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday night.
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