Silence turned to action out of Athens on Sunday afternoon.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported the news just after noon ET.

Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs won four consecutive games to close the season, including a victory against rival Georgia Tech.

The move followed radio silence from UGA athletic director¬†Greg McGarity, leading some — including us — to speculate that the school would retain Richt.

A heavy preseason favorite in the SEC East, Georgia lost handily to Alabama and Florida, needed overtime to beat new FBS member Georgia Southern and also fell at Tennessee.

After UGA lost to the Gators on Halloween to fall to 5-3, rampant speculation also included reports of discontent among the Bulldogs coaching staff, most prominently defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. For his part, Pruitt said Saturday that he wanted to return to Athens.

Reports of friction between Richt and McGarity surfaced after the 2014 season as well, when Georgia lost long-time offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to Colorado State as the head coach.

Richt’s tenure at Georgia ends with a final record of 145-51. His teams won two SEC championships, collected seven top 10 finishes and nine seasons with at least 10 wins.