It was the safe decision, but was it the smart one?

Kirby Smart

Kirby Smart

Having spent most of my day off today (I’m now working Tuesday-Saturday) away from the computer, I checked back in to find that the rumor one of my brothers had called me about earlier today is true: Kirby Smart isn’t coming home.

It’s disappointing for Bulldogs fans, of course. Smart had been the sentimental favorite for the defensive coordinator job dating back to, well, actually long before Willie Martinez got fired.

But it’s not really all that surprising. When you consider to the move from Tuscaloosa to Athens, what was really in it for Smart? More money? Doubtful. If Alabama hasn’t already matched Georgia’s offer, it likely will.

A chance to make a name for himself away from the shadow of Nick Saban? Well, yes, that was the biggest selling point Mark Richt had going for him.

That cuts both ways, though. Smart wants to be a head coach one of these days. By going out on his own at Georgia, he might have been able to build a strong case for himself. But there was an element of risk in that scenario that probably made Smart gunshy. What if the Georgia job hadn’t worked out as well as what he already has at Bama? Where would that leave him?

Staying with the Crimson Tide, where most people assume Saban is the force behind the defense, probably won’t allow Smart to develop a reputation on his own the way running the defense at Georgia would have. But the safer, more conservative approach for Smart is to continue to ride on Saban’s coattails.

Only time will tell if Smart played the odds correctly or blew his big chance.

381 comments Add your comment

Saban Hater

January 12th, 2010
3:32 pm

I wouldn’t hire Saban or anyone else on his staff.They are a pack of LIARS!One thing in his favor…………he is just one step behind that slime ball Petrino and his friends…..ANY QUESTIONS???????????????????


January 12th, 2010
4:07 pm

“Athletes who do not have a future in professional athletics will take a scholarshsip to Duke, UVa, UNC, etc., over the “dumb jock schools”.” CatsFLY, it sounds like a little penis envy going on here.

Will Muschamp

January 12th, 2010
4:12 pm

I told ya’ll I am not interested in the DC job at GA.
I am the Head Coach in waiting at Texas.
What, Mack Brown just got another 5 year extension,
Oh well, I am still the damn Head Coach in waiting,
in waiting
in waiting
in waiting
in waiting
In waiting
In waiting
Have I got to ten “in waitings” yet?
Damn, it’s taking a long time.


January 12th, 2010
4:29 pm

You only get one chance to return home. Kirby Smart will be a head coach one day– it just won’t be at Georgia. He has burned that bridge for good.

bama in ga

January 12th, 2010
6:04 pm

come on guys kirby smarts next stop will be a head coach, why would he take a latteral move to uga, plus what if the job he wants comes available next year, thats one and done with ga, put yourself in his shoes and quit acting like he owes it to ga, and honestly its not a latteral move right now!


January 12th, 2010
8:05 pm

This is a blessing for the dawg nation.Better to find out now than this fall!!!! Anyone that thinks ks might be hc in a year or 2 has got to be kidding.He isn’t even ready for a dc position out from under ns.The guy is not ready!!!Thank You KS for not coming to Athens!!!! I just wish he hadn’t taken advantage of the situation to better himself and put UGA and CMR in the situation they are in.You would think an alumi and close friends with a coach on the team he wouldn’t have played them for his own personal gains.(Money)CBVG 12/3/09 made a public statement he was not a candidate for the dc position at UGA you can appreciate that.That removes all false hopes and doesn’t waste anybodys time.KS should have done the exact same thing BVG did.He was never really interested to start with.Coach Nick Saban is a great coach no doubt and when ever he feels KS is ready it will be his blessing to let him be his own man and go out on his own

jesse james

January 12th, 2010
8:13 pm

Who had ever heard of Coach Van Gorder before he came to UGA. He is probably the best DC UGA has had behind Coach Russell. We get caught up in these big names. Coach Richt, go get somebody that has impressed you when we played them like Coach Van Gorder did. Who cares where he comes from and he doesn’t have to be a big name. I liked the DC from Villanova that shut down the high powered Montana offense. He is just an example.


January 12th, 2010
8:44 pm

I don’t begrudge Kirby Smart for staying at Bama. He obviously likes the situation with Saban, despite the fact that the TV announcers constantly refer to the Tide defense as Saban’s. The argument that coaches don’t make lateral moves is specious, as it often happens. One thing Smart assured himself of is that he will never be coaching for UGA. If he’s comfortable with that then so am I.

Former Georgian

January 12th, 2010
8:51 pm

Has it occurred to anyone that Smart might be the next head coach at Tennessee?

gth kiffin

January 12th, 2010
8:58 pm

i hope you are on probation for 5 years Lame Kitten! d-bag

Kid Me Not

January 12th, 2010
9:04 pm

Right or Wrong…Smart or Dumb….It was Kirby’s decision and Georgia will be just fine! Sentimentality won’t win ball games nor championships!

The Ghost Of Erskine Russell

January 12th, 2010
9:11 pm

Whoa, hang on, what are THUG-Dawg fans so upset at Kirby about?

So he is from Bainbridge. Most current THUG-Dawg fans, if they drove down there, would consider it part of North Florida, or S E Alabama anyway, and not part of Georgia.


Your Six-Figure Athletic Director Damon Evans

January 12th, 2010
9:14 pm

President Adams is getting impatient, and I think we all should pause in our daily lives and consider the fact that President Adams may not be completely happy.

We should all think about how we can make President Adams happy in this situation.


January 12th, 2010
9:20 pm

Is there any possible way you could have SEPARATE blogs for Tech and UGA?


January 12th, 2010
9:27 pm

I am with Jesse’s post above. I wish the media feeding frenzy would pipe down and let CMR do a proper search and hire his guy. I don’t believe Kirby Smart coming to Athens was ever in the cards. Because of the media uproar and speculation I think he felt he had to try. Now that all that is over he can go out and find HIS guy.

jesse james

January 12th, 2010
9:33 pm

I agree JDW, he felt he had to go after him. Now maybe he can get his guy and Richt’s Dawgs will be fine. Man what about Kiffin. I would get out of the SEC too.

City Slicker

January 12th, 2010
10:08 pm

Nobody really wants to move to Athens unless they’re paid as much as the head coach.


January 12th, 2010
10:20 pm

Bama CLT

Richt has just as many SEC Rings as Saban. We also are not on probation and will not be for some time. When you are on probation in a year or two with the Julio Jones predicament you will you had never heard of Saban. But tehn again you are used to NCAA probation from the Dubose days.


So What?

January 12th, 2010
10:30 pm

I attended and watched nearly every game Kirby Smart played in at UGA. He was scared to hit or tackle and could not cover. He led the SEC in interceptions – big deal – because when he didn’t intercept he did nothing at all.

However, there has been a lot of thought that bad players make good coaches and I thought, well maybe Kirvy could coach. We still don’t know because he is still Saban’s understudy. I think he looks like a good apprentice though.

Evidently Kirby played at UGA but didn’t bleed red and black and he changes jobs quite often.

I hope Coach Richt makes a better decision next time.

Dawg Tired

January 12th, 2010
11:19 pm

Nick Saban is a great coach, arguably the best college coach in America. However, he is a lying, characterless man. As my good friend said today when I told him Smart had turned us down, “Did you really want someone who has hitched his wagon to someone as sleazy as Saban?” Certainly something to think about.

The good news: Anyone we hire will be better than Willie.


January 13th, 2010
12:39 am

The jelousy is unreal here, Saban turns Bama back to the old dominate force in the SEC, wins a National Championship in 3 years. Ask CMR what have you done for UGA latley.

KS new he would have a job next year with Bama, not such a sure thing if he jumped to UGA. Look at Lance Thompson, ex linbacker coach left Bama to go to Tenn last year and now he will be unemployed next week. Maybe he could be CMR DC. He is available and depserate, like UGA.


January 13th, 2010
12:49 am

Bama runs this conference, what a joke. You guys were awful for a long time before Saban saved your butts. You lost 9 games in ‘03 – 9 GAMES! UGA hasn’t had a season that bad in ages. Your once honored program was a total joke for like 15 years before you righted the ship to get back on top.

You guys talk about 1 5 loss season for UGA as the death and decline of the UGA program. It’s one season with 5 losses, not near as bad as some of the dog crap seasons Bama had between 1992 and 2008. I just hope it doesn’t take UGA 15 years to fix some of these issues like it did Bama.


January 13th, 2010
12:56 am

22 SEC Championships (one every decade), no other SEC can make that claim. Since 1992 Bama has had 3 SEC Cahmpionships, and 2 National Cahmpionships. What did UGA do during that time?

Was UGA not predicted to be Number 1 a few years ago or at least Top Dawg in the SEC. But Bama beat you like a wet poodle. Since then Bama has won the SEC, had a Hiesman Winner, 2 Top 5 Recruiting classess, oh and might I mention the current National Cahmpions.

What has UGA done lately. If we are not living in the past.


January 13th, 2010
7:24 am

I’ve been reading a few of the comments from some of our 17 yr old highschool kid recruits. I wish more of our grown men adult fans sounded as mature as they do about this whole thing.


January 13th, 2010
7:57 am

A pro guy is the best way to go!!!!


January 13th, 2010
8:20 am

Kiffin & Carroll leaving their schools under NCAA investigations, Meyer doesn’t know what he wants to do. I say our failure to find a DC yet is not really a big problem.

Kirby Smart

January 13th, 2010
8:41 am

After reading so many of these derogatory comments about me,
I now fully understand what kind of trailer-trash UGA “fans” really are.


January 13th, 2010
9:09 am

I think it was too much too fast for Kirby and he was not totally sure he could be successful. He felt he needed more time as an understudy. I can understand his decission, but a HC job at a later date would be an even bigger leap.


January 13th, 2010
9:51 am

I hardly think this is Smart’s lone “big chance”.

He decided to stay at Alabama, and for the near future, who could blame him?

Good luck to him and lets worry more about who our DC is going to be rather than who it isn’t going to be.

big chance?

January 13th, 2010
1:09 pm

Bill, you wrote “…or blew his big chance.”

By “big chance” do you mean a lateral move to an inferior football team? I know you’re a UGA fan, as am I, but really…let’s get real.

It’s just disturbing that two of the brightest young coaches in college football, Smart and Muschamp, are former UGA players and we don’t have either one on our coaching staff. I blame Richt.


January 14th, 2010
1:00 am

Go get Marion Campbell and be done with it. He’s rested, he’s ready. MC4DC@UGA.