Ex-Georgia coach Richt details Seahawks’ Macdonald’s coaching start

Feb 2, 2024, 4:46 PM

Seattle Seahawks Mike Macdonald...

New Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald speaks to the media on Feb. 1, 2024. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Mike Macdonald is now the youngest head coach in the NFL as the Seattle Seahawks hired the 36 year old this week.

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When legendary Georgia head coach Mark Richt knew Macdonald back in the early-2010s, he was a young assistant on the Bulldogs’ coaching staff.

Macdonald’s first coaching job was at Cedar Shoals High School in Georgia in 2008 and 2009 when he coached linebackers and running backs. In 2010, he returned to his alma mater as a graduate assistant on Richt’s coaching staff, and then spent 2011-13 as a defensive quality control assistant.

Richt shared his memories and impressions of the newest Seahawks head coach during an interview with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday.

“Very sharp guy, great communicator, hard worker,” Richt said of Macdonald. “Just a intelligent, eloquent guy that has a mental toughness and physical toughness when it comes to football. You could tell good things were gonna happen to Mike.”

Being a grad assistant and then an analyst, Richt said there’s a “certain workload” those guys have, and their duties expand once it’s clear they can handle it.

“Mike was the kind of guy that you knew if you gave him an assignment, it was gonna get done, it’s gonna get done well and get done in a timely manner,” Richt said. “And then you could just see him relate to players, a guy that is genuine. A lot of coaches try to be somebody they’re not, and players kind of sniff that out pretty quick, especially, I would think, at the NFL level, it’s even more so. You’d better be genuine, you’d better be who you are so you don’t have to sit there and act like somebody else, which is exhausting to begin with. And Mike’s just a real genuine human being, a guy that can relate to all kinds of people, and he’s very, very good at what he does.”

“He took care of business very well, and was definitely a guy that wanted to know why things are done,” Richt added of Macdonald’s time at Georgia. “Not to question coaches in what they’re doing, but the why as to be able to learn.”

Richt was an extremely successful head coach at Georgia, going 145-51 with just one losing season and two SEC titles between 2001 and 2015. He offered some advice Macdonald’s way.

“Be genuine. Be who you are. Because who you are is what got you where you are to begin with,” Richt said. “Earn the trust of the people around you. I think think in the NFL, you’ve got to earn the trust of these players … In the pros, sometimes they need it know why we’re doing it. And when you motivate grown men, it’s a little bit different. They’ve got to know you and trust you and believe that you have their best interests at heart because it’s their livelihood. So I think just be true to yourself, be honest with everybody, and do what you think is best in the end, because the buck is gonna stop with you.”

Listen to Wyman and Bob’s full interview with Mark Richt at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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