Coaches commonly tell their players to play hurt and fight through pain to help their team. Georgia head coach Mark Richt is leading his team by example as he fights through a hip injury that he has battled for two decades.
Richt reluctantly told reporters how he injured his hip: in a swing set demonstration gone wrong. Here, in his own words, is how it happened.
“I was trying to show (my wife) what a good swinger I was,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I was swinging really high on a big heavy swing set with those big heavy chains. Sometimes if you go super high, on the way back you get a little bit of that lag. You've got those big S-hooks on top, and you’re swinging, and I swung enough to where the one on the left came out. So it comes out, but I didn't know. I’m still on the swing. So when I come back down, the chain on [on the right] stayed taut and the other one just goes. I turned sideways and the first thing that hits the ground is my left hip. Just smashed it.
“It was traumatic. I mean, when I hit I was like, ‘I think I broke it.’ I couldn't hardly breathe. Sometimes with an injury like that you get a full-body sweat and a little nauseous. But the pain kind of went away and I went about my business, until about a year and a half ago.”
Richt re-injured the hip doing p90x. He fought through the pain until finally consulting his doctors, who told him he could have the hip replaced when the pain became too much.
The coach kept the injury quiet until athletics director Greg McGarity was told recently when he tried to schedule off-season meetings with Richt.
With the Bulldogs on the verge of winning their second straight SEC East title, expect Richt to coach through the pain for a little bit longer.
Read the full report here.