ATHENS, GA (WTVM) – UGA's head basketball coach Mark Fox made an emotional statement on Tuesday about his former colleague's departure from the university.
"It's been a tough week," Fox said as his press conference began.
Fox, who has been the head coach of the men's basketball team since 2009, spoke about a tough win against Oakland on Tuesday night before he was asked by a reporter on why it's been a tough week.
"Yesterday, Coach Richt said that we all have feelings, but there's also a proper way to act," Fox said. "I'll tell you why it's been a tough week. We talk a lot here about 'the Georgia way' – and it's not lip-service. And we try and help these young people find the higher road in life. Everyday, I've known Coach Richt, he's taken the higher road, and he's ingrained that in a lot of us."
Fox credited Richt with making him "a better man" who he was honored to call a colleague and a friend. Throughout the emotional statement, Fox's eyes began to fill with tears.
"College athletics – everybody around it – is littered with fraudulent and counterfeit people, and you guys know it," Fox continued. "And Mark Richt was neither one of those. Our leadership has commanded the Georgia way, and Coach Richt cemented it."
He said toward the end of basketball practice on Monday, he has to stop practice because players were acting like "there was a death in the family."
Fox said he wishes Richt the best in his future and would help with whoever the new football coach is when asked.
"We can't lose the Georgia way – that's why it's been a tough week," Fox said.
You can watch the full video here, from the Athens Banner-Herald.
Richt and UGA parted ways on Nov. 29 after 14 seasons as the UGA head football coach. On Tuesday night, media reports indicated that UGA has hired current Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart as Richt's replacement.