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Mark & Katharyn Richt, Longtime FCA Supporters and Teammates

Published on March 10, 2021

Jill Lee

The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.  


Like most of us, Mark Richt, former head football coach at the University of Georgia and University of Miami, and his wife, Katharyn, found their lives alarmingly halted earlier this year. But also like many of us, that didn’t stop them from embracing increased family time and serving the Lord alongside FCA.

Longtime FCA supporters and teammates, Mark and Katharyn jumped in as FCA embraced virtual ministry. They accepted the invitation to speak about marriage during the first-ever FCA Virtual Coaches Camp. For three evenings, more than 1,000 coaches and spouses logged on to hear the Richts’ heartwarming, transparent, encouraging stories and to learn from the couple’s wisdom that’s accumulated via 33 years of marriage, four children, several grandchildren and decades of living the coaching life.


What compelled you to share about marriages during the FCA Virtual Coaches Camp?

Statistics show there’s a 50% chance of high school coaches getting divorced, a 60% chance for college coaches and a 70% for professional coaches. So, Virtual Coaches Camp was a very important thing for us to do. We wanted to make the point that coaches have a 50/50 shot, or they can decide it’s a 100% shot.

We use the term “burn the ships” as a way of saying there is no plan B and divorce is not an option. When times get tough, we won’t give ourselves an out or go back on our promises. This is our marriage philosophy.


What would you say to those whose marriages have been strained this year?

One thing to ask yourselves is this: What’s more important to you—being right or your relationship? You might get into an argument or a discussion about something that might be very trivial, and you might want to prove your point. Get rid of your pride and put the relationship over being right. Whenever we take our eyes off ourselves and what we’re thinking and focus on Jesus, He will bring us to where we need to be. Then we’re able to say, “I’m sorry.”

It’s very important to pursue marriage conferences, small groups and Bible studies—things to help you grow. There’s a lot of different seasons of life, and you need to talk through them and be able to get help.


What is the importance of Christian community when it comes to thriving as a coaching family?

A Christian community is especially important to keep ourselves grounded in Christ. We all need accountability and to be able to talk with those who won’t tell us what they think we want to hear, but what God thinks. He has used our church and small groups to help us stay connected to Him, for He alone is our source of strength, and in Him we find peace.


Describe the importance of slowing down at times when it comes to maintaining a healthy marriage.

Probably one of the most difficult things to do is to slow down. We coaches can struggle when it comes to our schedule, but I (Mark) always tried to make it a point to be present when I was with Katharyn. Although there was not a great quantity of time like there is now that I’m retired, we had definite quality time. Healthy marriages need this.


What does being 100% in with the Lord look like in a marriage?

One hundred percent is what we have to choose to give every day, starting with our relationship with Christ. Through Him, we will give 100% to our spouse.


Why do you partner with FCA?

FCA can preach Christ where no one else can: our schools and universities. The ministry lends great support to coaches and their families, and we are very thankful for FCA!





Written with support from Jill Lee