Mark Richt stepped down as Georgia's coach Sunday in what was called a "mutual" decision but looked like a firing.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said he met with Richt on Sunday morning "to discuss the status of our football program." McGarity said the two "mutually agreed that he would step down as head coach and would have the opportunity to accept other duties and responsibilities at UGA following the bowl game."

Georgia (9-3) ended its regular season with Saturday's 13-7 win over Georgia Tech. It was clear following the game Richt had no plans to step down. He said he planned to begin recruiting "and getting prepared for the future at Georgia."

Richt had only a short statement in the announcement released by Georgia.

"I appreciate the opportunity of serving the University as well as considering any other options that may present themselves in the future," Richt said.

There has been speculation about Richt's future since losses to Tennessee, Alabama and Florida ended the Bulldogs' hopes for a SEC championship. Georgia closed the regular season with four straight wins, but that was not enough to make up for failing to land a spot in the title game.

Richt, 55, acknowledged Saturday the team "came up short of our goal" to win the SEC championship.

"That's the standard here," Richt said. "Win the SEC and hopefully go beyond that. From that point of view, we fell short of our goals."

The news was a surprise to one of his former players, Vikings kicker Blair Walsh, who learned before Sunday's game at the Atlanta Falcons that Richt was out.

"That's really unfortunate," Walsh said. "He's such a great man, a man of integrity and character and somebody that helped shape me into what I am today. I feel for him and his family but I know if decides to keep coaching he's going to get a job here at any point he wants. I love him and I'll miss him at Georgia."

Richt was 145-51 with two SEC championships. Only Vince Dooley (201) won more games at Georgia.

"Mark's record on the field was outstanding; however, his impact on college football goes well beyond the gridiron," McGarity said before mentioning children who attended Richt's summer camp, recruits and his players. "For those contributions, we are sincerely appreciative."

Rutgers clean house

Rutgers fired coach Kyle Flood and athletic director Julie Hermann, stripping the athletic department of its most prominent employees after a season that was a failure on and off the field.

Patrick Hobbs, Dean Emeritus of the Seton Hall University School of Law, will take over for Hermann.

Barchi decided last week to make a change in leadership, and told the football team of the change at about 2 p.m. Sunday. As players left the team meeting room about 45 minutes later, everyone declined to comment except senior Quentin Gause, who was team captain.

"Just business decisions," Gause said was the message from Barchi. "Everyone cares for Flood, but decisions have to be made."

The reaction in the room was silence, Gause said, and Barchi provided no other details about the Flood decision or what would happen to the assistant coaches. Assistant head coach Norries Wilson will be interim coach.

The Scarlet Knights finished 4-8 after blowing a big lead to Maryland on Saturday, a game that was not even close to being the worst of the team's embarrassments this season.

Flood was suspended for three games for making inappropriate contact with a professor regarding a player's academics. Also, seven players were arrested since August, though charges were dropped against star receiver Leontee Carroo.

Flood was 27-24 in four seasons at Rutgers.

Va. Tech hires Fuente

Virginia Tech hired Memphis' Justin Fuente as its next coach, bringing a quick end to its search for a successor to Frank Beamer.

Beamer is retiring after 29 seasons and will now be followed by a 39-year-old coach who has spent the past four seasons at Memphis, turning a struggling program into a winner.

The Tigers, who compete in the American Athletic Conference, were 10-3 last season, including a 55-48, double-overtime victory against BYU in the Miami Beach Bowl. They are 9-3 this season, including a 63-0 victory against SMU on Saturday in Fuente's final game.

Virginia Tech said defensive coordinator Bud Foster, thought to be a candidate for the job, will remain in that position at Fuente's request.


•After a fourth consecutive losing season, Virginia coach Mike London will step down.A 23-20 loss to Virginia Tech marked London's final game, his sixth loss to the Hokies in as many seasons heading Virginia's program. The Cavaliers ended the year 4-8. His career record at Virginia is 27-46.

•Toledo's Matt Campbell reportedly will be Iowa State's new coach. Campbell will replace Paul Rhoads, who was fired a week ago. The 36-year-old Campbell is 35-15 in four seasons with the Rockets, including 9-2 this season.

•Purdue offensive coordinator John Shoop, defensive coordinator Greg Hudson, who was a former defensive coordinator under Glen Mason at Minnesota, and defensive tackles coach Rubin Carter will not return next season.

•Penn State fired offensive coordinator John Donovan and will begin a national search to find his replacemen.