Smart weighs return to UGA

(Updated 9:30 p.m.)

Kirby Smart, the defensive coordinator of newly crowned national champion Alabama, apparently is considering a return to Georgia, his alma mater, for the same job but considerably more money.

Smart, seen as a leading candidate for the UGA position since the Dec. 2 firing of Willie Martinez,  was weighing a formal  offer on Saturday but “has neither signed it nor made a decision regarding the opening,” according to the Tuscaloosa News, which cited “multiple sources.”

Smart has been publicly coy about his interest in the job but left the door open during a press conference in California two days before the national-championship game. He could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Georgia had no comment on the matter other than to say that no announcement of a hire was scheduled. Associate athletics director Claude Felton said he had not heard from coach Mark Richt all day and that no announcement was expected through Saturday night. Felton said Richt had been on the road recruiting.

Smart would be a popular hire in Bulldog Nation. Former UGA defensive great David Pollack posted on his Twitter account Saturday:  “From what I am getting guys I think Georgia has made a very SMART choice on their next DC, nothing 100% but def looks good.”

Smart makes about $360,000 in base salary at Alabama.  Georgia is believed willing to pay much, much more than that.

All indications are that UGA  will make a hire  within the next few days.  Richt would like to have the new defensive coordinator named before the final recruiting contact period starts Friday. Also, junior linebacker Rennie Curran -– expected by most around the Georgia program to enter the NFL draft –- has been trying to withhold a final decision until he has a chance to talk with the new  coordinator.

Smart played defensive back for Georgia from 1995-98, making All-SEC as a senior,  and began his coaching career as an administrative assistant at Georgia in 1999. He also coached running backs at UGA in 2005.

For most of his coaching career, Smart has worked under Nick Saban -– at LSU (2004), the Miami Dolphins (2006) and Alabama (since 2007).  He has been the Tide’s defensive coordinator the past two seasons.

Saban seemed to be sending a pointed message to Smart on Friday when he said at a news conference that assistant coaches should not make lateral career moves.

“I’m not pleased when guys make lateral moves because it’s a little bit human nature to think, like my dad used to say, the grass is always greener on top of the septic tank,” Saban said. “You always think it’s better someplace else. You kind of let your ego get involved, and you make moves that you shouldn’t make and really aren’t in your best interests for a career standpoint.”

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949 comments Add your comment

Dawg-All the Way

January 9th, 2010
5:46 pm

David Pollack has twittered that he is heard that it is smart

Dawg-All the Way

January 9th, 2010
5:46 pm

Salty Dawg

January 9th, 2010
5:47 pm

Salty Dawg

January 9th, 2010
5:48 pm

I read that too. Pollack is saying he heard it is a done deal, but he also qualified that by saying it wasn’t 100%.

Dawg-All the Way

January 9th, 2010
5:49 pm

Kirby Smart to Georgia - VolNation

January 9th, 2010
5:49 pm

[...] i may be wrong but anything can happend UGA: no announcement imminent on DC | UGA Sports [...]

haywood...

January 9th, 2010
5:52 pm

this search for DC is getting scary.

check that uga-uk game!

Dawg-All the Way

January 9th, 2010
5:53 pm

Smart will be Named DC and Head Coachin in Wating on Monday.

sc dawg

January 9th, 2010
5:54 pm

63-59 ky leading with six plus minutes, uga ball

superDawg

January 9th, 2010
5:54 pm

Billy

January 9th, 2010
5:55 pm

Smart wouldn’t be a bad choice.

John

January 9th, 2010
5:57 pm

Possibily he (CMR) wants the recruits to hear it first instead of hearing it from the news….so maybe Monday!

superDawg

January 9th, 2010
5:57 pm

This could be history in the waiting.HunkerDown!just one more time!!!

Whistlebritches

January 9th, 2010
5:59 pm

Kirby’s wife is from UGA. She was Miss GA HS Basketball. He will come here for his home, money, and to spite Saban. Saban’s an idiot. You can make lateral moves if it provides opportunity for you in the future. He made a lateral move going from LSU to Miami and to Bama.
Kirby is not the answer. Better players are.

champdawg

January 9th, 2010
5:59 pm

A friend told me that his frat brother is best buds with Bobo and was having lunch with him when the phone rang and it was Smart.That is why he and CMR can trufully say they haven’t talked much cause everything is going thru Bobo.Look for an announcement by Monday. He will be just what the Dawgs need—some fire

Frank

January 9th, 2010
6:01 pm

I think KS comes to Athens so he can get credit for the defense, instead of running Saban’s defense as I have heard all year long from the talking heads on TV.

thwgt!!!

Whistlebritches

January 9th, 2010
6:02 pm

I agree Frank. Bama fans do say that and I heard that on Thursday from a fan. It’s about Saban.

Drew in Sandy Springs

January 9th, 2010
6:03 pm

Saban and Kirby get along great. I believe Kirby will come to UGA because it’s where he is from and where he played. He might also be a coach in waiting because Richt probably doesn’t want to coach to 60.

But Kirby wouldn’t want to spite Nick. They’re good friends too.

Brian

January 9th, 2010
6:03 pm

I don’t see why Smart would leave the national champs to come to UGA… but I sure hope he does!!

cattle dawg

January 9th, 2010
6:05 pm

I agree with you on that frank, just being frank.

Not Exactly..

January 9th, 2010
6:07 pm

He will come here for his home, money, and to spite Saban. Saban’s an idiot. You can make lateral moves if it provides opportunity for you in the future. He made a lateral move going from LSU to Miami and to Bama.
Kirby is not the answer. Better players are.

To spite Saban? He’s followed Saban everywhere…don’t think he’d do anything to “spite” him. And Saban’s an idiot? lol. Ok lets review…from LSU to the NFL was not a lateral move, it was a step up, but then he wasn’t happy in the NFL so he went back to coaching college ball at Bama. You did get one thing right, your last two sentences…

Chris

January 9th, 2010
6:08 pm

If the rumors are true, I wonder how much input he will have on the other coaches hired

Nerd Central @ North Ave

January 9th, 2010
6:09 pm

It’s all just a rumor! UGA is getting that Grantham guy and the jackets are going to run all over your butts next year. You are going to want Martinez back, but he’ll be busy patting his CB’s on the back after the lockdown job they did all day on the UGA wide receivers a month prior.

Nerd Central @ North Ave

January 9th, 2010
6:10 pm

CPJ has got it goin on! Get ready to see a monster defense in action!

Edman

January 9th, 2010
6:10 pm

Is Todd Grantham out of the running?

G Dawg

January 9th, 2010
6:15 pm

Now that Pete Carroll is going to the pros, does anyone out there think USC’s Defensive coordinator could be swayed to work in the SEC for the Dogs?

MW

January 9th, 2010
6:15 pm

In my opinion i would like to see Withers hired instead of Smart. Withers resume speaks for its self not only that but an oustanding recruiter!!

sc dawg

January 9th, 2010
6:15 pm

dawgs took ky to the wire, 2 pt game with one minute left but ended up losing by eight . . . bball could be fun this year!!!!!!!!!

tuscaloosa news outlets confirming “written contract” in smart’s hands, waiting on decision . . .

this is getting interesting . . . worst case, we cost saban and bama some $$$$$$$$ and hire the nfl guy

Hairy's Balls

January 9th, 2010
6:15 pm

@Not Exactly.. :

It was a step up to go from LSU to Miami. But no, it’s not a lateral move to go from the NFL to an average Bama program (at the time), that would be a step down. So you did get one thing right.

2009 Champs

January 9th, 2010
6:16 pm

“the grass is always greener on top of the septic tank,” Saban said.

What a perfect analogy of a lateral (at best) move to UGA,

Hahahahahahahahahahah!

nemov

January 9th, 2010
6:16 pm

G Dawg – I guess you didn’t watch USC last season? Their defense was worse than ours.

cattle dawg

January 9th, 2010
6:17 pm

Its Smarts to lose. Grantham is the next choice. Its been these 2 guys since Christmas. That chavis crap was a crock of sheet.

Saint Richt

January 9th, 2010
6:18 pm

David Pollack is a dumb a$$…………..UGAY homers………….

kd4uga

January 9th, 2010
6:19 pm

Seems like Saban would know a lot about the septic tank.

The Lone Trumpeter

January 9th, 2010
6:19 pm

CPJ will lose more bowl games than he wins because his offense is a gimmick. When good coaches with good players have a month to prepare for a high school offense they will shut it down. 0-2 CPJ.

MW

January 9th, 2010
6:20 pm

You know i think i would come up with a better analogy than Sabans(why is the grass greener on the septic tank? because of the wonderful fertilizer thats underneath!!!)

native

January 9th, 2010
6:20 pm

I don’t know!!!! I thought if it was Smart we would have heard something by now. but now I am wondering if it is not the guy from Dallas. his season may be over tonight.

Dawg

January 9th, 2010
6:21 pm

Tubberville has been reported by ESPN to been hired by Texas Tech. I posted yesterday this would happen. Now the decision is up to Kirby? All signs from Saban’s press conference statement showing desperation, UGA has a shot at Kirby?

jerry

January 9th, 2010
6:21 pm

I will guaran-damn-tee you that the Dallas Cowboys would not trade that Grantham guy for 10 Kirby Smarts.

You got it all wrong

January 9th, 2010
6:23 pm

I have it from a very good source that Muschamp will be coming because Mack Brown wants to stay 10 more years and is working on another contract extension. The Smart thing was just a chance to get a bump in pay from AL. Also, Richt is going to be hanging it up in 2013.

These are facts

[...] Felton says no announcement today or tonight [...]

Pat Dye

January 9th, 2010
6:24 pm

Glory to ole Bama. They won another title. Anybody remember the one in 92 with Gene Stallings? Do you think they would have won that one without cheating? Soon after Stallings left town, they were on probation. Yet, there is Stallings statue in the garden at Tuscaloosa. The only thing that matters at Bama is winning – at all costs. A few years later, nobody remembers you cheated to get it.

Nick Saban and Alabama go well together. Alabama cheats, Saban lies, and together they steal championships.

tom

January 9th, 2010
6:25 pm

Kirby is the first guy UGA has actually offered the DC job to. The other guys were never ever made an official job offer.

If Kirby takes the job then North Ave will implode with jealousy.

Brian

January 9th, 2010
6:26 pm

He will come here for his home, money, and to spite Saban. Saban’s an idiot. You can make lateral moves if it provides opportunity for you in the future. He made a lateral move going from LSU to Miami and to Bama.

I love UGA, but Saban is a great coach, and he’s definitely not an idiot. He’s got a lot more class than Meyer, Nutt, Spurrier, or Tuberville. I’ve got nothing against Bama, and am glad they blew out Florida if the SECCG, and other UGA fans should be too. As far as the Smart situation goes, I’m not believing anything until it is finalized. He could agree to come here, but then he gets an offer to be a head coach, and he would leave.

Nerd Central @ North Ave

January 9th, 2010
6:27 pm

Jeez I wish my mom would get my laundry done so I can get back to my computer games!

jerry

January 9th, 2010
6:27 pm

P—y walks and money talks. Smart is on his way home.

The Alpha Male

January 9th, 2010
6:29 pm

Saban doesn’t like coaches leaving because then he can’t take the credit for making their careers. Like Corch Irvin Myers, Saban is a super-egomaniac.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that no Georgia announcement was imminent. According to the AJC report, “Claude Felton, UGA associate athletics director, said he had not heard from coach Mark Richt [...]

Dama O'Bama

January 9th, 2010
6:31 pm

Let’s go ahead and make the announcement and get it over with so we can see the look on Satan’s “Mr. Chuckle’s’ face. Also get me a close up on “Big Drawers Johnson ” while the camera is rolling.

Dama O'Bama

January 9th, 2010
6:32 pm

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