Dawgs Go Swimming

Coach Richt Takes A Dive For His Team

Coach Richt Takes A Dive For His Team

Ramsey Student Center lifeguard Alexander Hope received a phone call Tuesday night asking if he would come in early Wednesday for an extra shift. It turned out to be the Georgia senior’s most stressful day during his one-year on the job.

The Bulldogs blew off their morning practice and instead headed to the high dives at the Ramsey Center pool for the second year in a row. They players took turns jumping, cannonballing, flopping and flipping from anywhere between the baby board at 3 feet to the high dive at 33 feet.

“I was seriously terrified that Matthew Stafford was going to break his back … trying to do a back flip,” Hope said. “If one of those guys got hurt while I was guarding, I would never forgive myself. None of my friends would ever forgive me.”

The gray skies and rainfall ruined coach Mark Richt’s plans for making the team dress in full pads and surprising them with the fun day.

“When the weather hit like it did, I had them convinced we were going to come over here and do a walkthrough like we normally do on a rain day,” he said. “So we got in there and stretched a little bit and I told everyone to get nice and flexible so they don’t pull a hamstring off the high dive.”

Richt dived backward twice himself off the high dive.

“I thought I hit them pretty good,” Richt said. “I don’t know if I was truly vertical. I don’t know how big the splash was at the end. We’re trying to minimize splashes.”

The coach mostly acted as cheerleader, though. He stood beside freshman Bacarri Rambo as the cornerback got on all fours to peer over the ledge of the 33-foot high dive. He backed away, but after some encouragement from both Richt and his teammates, he took the plunge.

The team was having so much fun that Teresa Piper, assistant director for aquatics, had to shout into a microphone at the players to jump only one at a time.

After about 45 minutes, Richt wrapped up the morning by thanking the Ramsey Center.

“Thank you lifeguards and God Bless America,” he said.

– Courtesy of AJC.com


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