Summer 2024

OneCoach: Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt gives Bibles to players

The Miami Hurricanes are off to an amazing start.

At 10-0, the Hurricanes are the number two ranked team in America and in prime position to make it to the College Football Playoff.

One of the hallmarks of the team is Miami’s “Turnover Chain.” The prop is given to the defensive player who forces a turnover. The Hurricanes responded by causing 27 turnovers on the season and have the best turnover margin in College Football (1.60).

What you’re seeing this year is something that was built on a foundation from coach Mark Richt, when he came to the team as head coach in 2016.

Upon his arrival, Coach Richt gave his players and assistants a more valuable gift. Hearing from team chaplain Steve DeBardelaben that several players didn’t have Bibles, or had older translations that were difficult to understand, Coach Richt gave Bibles to his players and coaches. Each Bible was personalized and handed out during a team meeting. The players were not forced to take the Bibles but Coach Richt wanted to make sure everyone had the option of taking one.

“I told the guys, ‘It’s a choice. If you want to just leave it at the chair, you can. If you want to take it with you, you can. If you want to give it to somebody, you can. But I just heard enough guys say they didn’t have one and some guys said they had older versions that were harder to understand,” Richt told the Sun Sentinel. “We have chapel before the games and it’s 100 percent voluntary. Some guys go, and some guys don’t. There will be times I’ll give them those wise sayings from Proverbs, the book of wisdom. If anyone would take up the challenge of reading a proverb a day, you’re going to get wiser. It’s good stuff. I just wanted to make it available to them.”

The players showed their appreciation of the gift in different ways. Senior Receiver Braxton Berrios tweeted a picture of his personalized Bible, focusing on Jeremiah 29:11.

Safety Rayshawn Jenkins, then a redshirt senior, took the Bible home and started focusing on a passage from Genesis.

“He could’ve just handed us a playbook instead, or something else,” Jenkins said to the Sun Sentinel. “But he handed us Bibles, something different. It lets us know he wants good for us.”

Redshirt junior defensive lineman Demetrius Jackson, nicknamed “The Preacher,” talked about how the Bibles made a great impression on his teammates in the locker room.

“Coaches come and go, but that showed us coach Richt really cares,” Jackson explained to the Sun Sentinel. “He’s genuine and he’s the man he says he is. He just showed us he honestly cares about us and I know if I can trust him, we can all trust him.”

The Miami Hurricanes will look to finish the regular season undefeated as they face the Pittsburgh Panthers on Friday at 12pm ET

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