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Richt on a Mission

Georgia coach Mark Richt and his family spent their off-time in Honduras. Georgia coach Mark Richt and his family spent their off-time in Honduras.

Normally coaches spend all their time on the sidelines working on plays and sets, trying to create the perfect football team.

But instead of a summer on the recruiting trail, Georgia coach Mark Richt and his family spent their off-time in Honduras, trying to make other people's lives just a little bit better..

"No one knew me, no one really cared who I was," explained Richt. "They just cared that you cared. They cared that you were there and were willing to spend your time and money to help them."

In July, the entire family, Mark, Kathyrn, John, David and Anya went on a week-long mission trip to Honduras.

The town of Guaimaca was their home. Their job? To build a bridge of faith between peoples and give the Richt kids a look at life outside of their cozy Athens home.

"Gosh you would ride down the road and might see a house that was made of whatever wood they could find," remembered Richt. "They seem to have a very good peace about them even though they don't have the convienances we have in the United States."

As part of the World Baptist Mission team, the Richts worked construction, fed and cared for children and shared their faith.

But for a coach who's job is to motivate players every day, Richt found giving these folks a pep talk a little tougher.

"I felt pretty inadequate when it came to giving my personal testimony," laughed Richt. "Because they didn't know who I was, who Jim Kelly was, John Elway, Dan Marino, Bobby Bowden, Don Shula or any of the other people mixed into my testimony."

This coach found out that playing the central American version of football can be tougher than coaching it.

"I thought i wasn't in such good shape that i would play goalie," said Richt. "But after they took me to school a few times they ripped the goalie shirt off my back, gave it to John, who did better than i did."

Coach Richt isn't done yet. On the next trip, he'd like to bring his team with him, to show them what life is like away from the playing field.

"If our guys got to see how others lived they could see what impact they could make in their lives they'd get excited about it," smiled Richt. "It would be contagious."

Reported by: Andrew Davis, andrewdavis@wtoc.com

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