ATLANTA — Former University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt hopes to add another line to his storied resume. The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced the names on the 2023 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The now-retired coach is among 80 players and nine coaches announced Monday.
Richt compiled a record of 145-51 from 2001-2015 at UGA, which included an 85-40 record in SEC play. His teams won two SEC championships (2002 and 2005), five SEC championship game appearances, 15 consecutive bowl games, eight top ten final poll finishes, and a 42-2 record against non-conference opponents in Sanford Stadium. He was named SEC Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2005.
Joining Richt on the ballot is another Bulldog -- former All-America running back Garrison Hearst.
Hearst was the 1992 Doak Walker Award recipient as the country’s most outstanding running back. He was a consensus All-American and finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. He averaged 6.8 yards per carry shattering Bo Jackson's SEC record single season average of 6.4.
Across town, former Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson was also named to the ballot. He compiled a career record of 189-99 (.656) in 22 seasons as a head coach, including an 82-60 record in 11 seasons at Georgia Tech (2008-18).
Georgia natives Eric Berry, of Fairburn, and Willie Gault, of Griffin, wee also named on the ballot.
Berry, a University of Tennessee defensive back, was a two-time unanimous first team All-American (2008-09) and winner of the 2009 Thorpe Award. He was the 2008 SEC defensive player of the year.
Gault, who also played at Tennessee, was a 1982 first team All-American who led the Vols to three bowl births.
The announcement of the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be made in early 2023.
The 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, 2023, and permanently immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute during the 2023 season.
Here is a full list of nominations.