Well, if there was any doubt about whether or not Nick Saban can turn a coordinator into a head coach, the definitive answer is “YES!”
Kirby Smart appears to be the next in line to take over at Georgia after the Bulldogs fired Mark Richt, who they probably could have kept and continued winning 9-11 games a season with, but we’ve been over that already. Smart has been linked to jobs before but Saban has always found a way to keep him around and on staff, usually by throwing more money at him. I mean, why leave a good situation where you’re getting paid $1.5 million to head into a situation where you’ll make three times as much but may only be there for a year. Under Saban, you can slowly make more money for the rest of your career.
Anyways, Smart is a Georgia alum and played defensive back for the Bulldogs during his playing days. He was also their running backs coach in 2005 after spending 2004 coaching LSU’s defensive backs. What position can Smart NOT coach?
Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution says it’s all but a done deal.
Smart will bring in his own staff but is expected to retain some members of Georgia’s current staff, including running backs coach Thomas Brown and recruiting coordinator/wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon. What other coaches he brings is not immediately known but it will be of his choosing.
Smart became the highest paid defensive coordinator in the country this past June when he received a $150,000 a year raise to $1.5 million. He has three years left in a four-year deal that includes a buyout thought to be in the range of $500,000.
Mark Richt made $4.1 million a year as Georgia’s head coach.
Smart is considered a healing choice for the Bulldogs. Georgia’s fan base has been divided since Sunday, when Athletic Director Greg McGarity fired Richt after 15 years. Richt was the fifth-winningest active coach in Division I football and had won an average of 9.6 games a season as Georgia’s coach.
So there you have it. Georgia fans, I hope you’re happy because LSU fans are sitting on the outside jealously looking in thinking, “I wish we had an athletic director that wasn’t a total screw up.”