Former Georgia football coach Mark Richt discloses he has Parkinson’s disease | National


ATHENS, Ga. — Former Georgia football coach Mark Richt disclosed Thursday night that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Richt, 61, made the announcement via his social-media platforms.

“I have been waddling around lately and people have asked me what’s wrong,” Richt wrote in a Twitter message posted at 7:51 p.m. Thursday. “I’ve decided to tell everyone at the same time. I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.”

Richt’s disclosure came a few days after he attended the David Pollack Foundation annual golf tournament at the Georgia Club. Several individuals in attendance had remarked that Richt, 61, did not look well.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often including tremors. Nerve-cell damage in the brain causes dopamine levels to drop, leading to the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s often begins with tremors in one hand. Other symptoms are slow movement, stiffness and loss of balance. Medications can help control the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Many famous people have been diagnosed with and continued to work with Parkinson’s disease, including boxer Muhammad Ali and actors Michael J. Fox and Alan Alda.

Richt was Georgia’s football coach for 15 years, winning two SEC championships, five division titles and finishing as the coach with the second most wins in school history. Richt was fired after a nine-win regular season in 2015, then accepted a job as the head coach at Miami, his alma mater, a week later. He coached the Hurricanes for three seasons.

Richt and his wife, Katharyn, recently moved back to Athens to be close to their children and grandchildren. His primary residence remains in Miramar Beach, Fla.

Richt played quarterback at Miami in the early 1980s, then coached at Florida State under Bobby Bowden for 14 years before Vince Dooley hired him at Georgia.

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