Could the best candidate to be the next football coach at both Alabama and UGA be the same person?
Before we say more, let’s point out that there are no signs of UGA’s Mark Richt or especially Alabama’s Nick Saban slowing down at all. They both appear to be peaking in their respective careers.
But nothing lasts forever. See Bear Bryant.
Who is a common candidate to one day succeed Saban or Richt? One suggestion is Kirby Smart, the former UGA football player who is now Alabama’s defensive coordinator.
AL.columnist Kevin Scarbinksy addressed the issue in his live chat on Monday:
I believe Kirby may be an unofficial and unannounced coach in waiting at Alabama but it would be hard to say no to UGA if that job opened first.
Some more background on Smart: He played defensive back at UGA from 1995-98 and returned to coach running backs for the Bulldogs in 2005. Smart has been working for Saban at Alabama since 2007, and declined the opportunity to return to his alma mater as UGA’s defensive coordinator in January 2010 (job later went to Todd Grantham).
At 36 years old, Smart is considered one of the SEC’s brightest young defensive minds. Working against Smart is the failure of another noted Saban disciple, Derek Dooley. Smart was also accused on message boards of using negative recruiting tactics against UGA last year but it was never proven.
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