Smart explains decision to reject UGA (updated)

Athens — Kirby Smart won’t be coming to Georgia as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator,  deciding after two days of deliberation to remain in the same job at Alabama.

Smart, a former Georgia player, explained his decision in written comments provided by Alabama:

“I think it was pretty well known that there was an opportunity to return to my alma mater as defensive coordinator,” Smart said.  ”I wouldn’t even have considered discussing the position with any other school, but when it is a place I’ve spent some of my best years and had some great memories, I thought it was something I should discuss with my family and figure out what was best.

“After thinking about all the factors over the last couple days, we are going to stay at the University of Alabama. We love it in Tuscaloosa, have made some great friends here and I think we are building something special here at Alabama with Coach [Nick] Saban. I have learned so much in the time I’ve spent with Coach Saban, and every year I feel like a become a better coach.

“I’ve got a great deal of respect for Coach [Mark] Richt and the job he has done there, and the University of Georgia will also have a special place in my heart. Not only did I play there, but my wife played basketball there and we have a lot of friends at UGA.”

Smart had been considering a lucrative multi-year offer — reportedly for three or four years at around $700,000 per year — to return to his alma mater as defensive coordinator.  His pending decision had been the subject of intense speculation among UGA fans over the weekend. Saban previously had expressed his disapproval of assistant coaches making lateral career moves.

“We’re very pleased and happy that Kirby is going to be staying here at the University of Alabama with us,” Saban said in a statement this afternoon.  ”He’s done a fabulous job for us. He’s one of the finest assistant coaches in the country.

“You expect guys like Kirby to get lots of opportunities to do things, and we want to continue to help him continue to develop his career here so that when he leaves here, it’s going to be to be a head coach and probably in a very good situation. So we’re excited about that. We’re happy for him and his family. It’s very pleasing to us.”

Alabama is believed to have aggressively countered Georgia’s financial offer, but said it would not reveal Smart’s new salary until it is approved by trustees in the spring. Smart’s salary was around $360,000 in 2009.

Richt has been trying to hire a new defensive coordinator since the Dec. 2 firing of Willie Martinez and two other defensive coaches.

Georgia previously pursued two veteran defensive coordinators for the job, Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster and LSU’s John Chavis. Both opted to remain in their current jobs after having their contracts considerably sweetened.

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1,397 comments Add your comment

gadawg

January 11th, 2010
3:07 pm

bamafan

January 11th, 2010
3:08 pm

awwww…sorry! Guess UGA will have to wait a while to find out who their saviour is!

Tim

January 11th, 2010
3:09 pm

I knew it… Oh well..

NEWNANDAWG

January 11th, 2010
3:09 pm

oh well so what now??

Bryan G.

January 11th, 2010
3:10 pm

Say what you want about this economy…Mark Richt has done more to help the GDP than anyone. You’re welcome Bud, Chavis, and Kirby. Hell, I need a raise. Think I can get Richt to give me a call about the DC job?

Hawk n the Ham

January 11th, 2010
3:10 pm

Dingleberry!!!!

Beatdowndawg

January 11th, 2010
3:10 pm

Fridawg

January 11th, 2010
3:10 pm

Couldn’t even let the guy speak for himself? Saban is a jerk, and Kirby should at least speak to the matter.

WGD

January 11th, 2010
3:11 pm

Not overly shocked. Just makes us look bad as it appears we have been “turned down” by some two or three candidates. Next?

Billy

January 11th, 2010
3:11 pm

now what, Coach Richt??

Atl Gator

January 11th, 2010
3:11 pm

The poodles strike out again….

SAV' DAWG

January 11th, 2010
3:11 pm

Georgia needs an X’s and O’s guy, not another recruiter. Someone from the NFL will better suit our needs.

allan in texas

January 11th, 2010
3:11 pm

damn,damn,damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DAWG Trapped in BAMA!

January 11th, 2010
3:11 pm

Well thanks Kirby Smart, you have single handedly made your alma matta look like a second rate program. The good news is this…. I don’t think he was worth the $$$$ we were throwing at him, why? He has never proven anything on his own to deserve that kind of $$$$. RICHT- GET GRANTHAM TODAY and be done with this….. or else we are going to haverecruits dropping like flies!

Willie Martinez

January 11th, 2010
3:12 pm

I’m still available!

Your Welcome, Kirby

January 11th, 2010
3:12 pm

He can thank us later for his raise.

John

January 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

Well isnt that the professional thing to do…..speak for some one else during a press conference regarding a whole other person. I wont believe it until Smart comments for himself! It makes him look like a little boy in Saban’s 5th grade math class.

Saban is such an A**

RT

January 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

WOW! Thats all I can say.

UGAFan

January 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

Well we will find someone….Good luck to Coach Smart….

wishful thinking

January 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

The drama goes on……

JimDog

January 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

That blows. However, after watching the Dallas defense on Saturday, I hope Grantham will take the job.

hagood

January 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

Thank God this didn’t happen…Satan and Smarts defensive scheme is so overrated!

Jerry Glanville

January 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

NOW will you call me??!!

buzz is wiser

January 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

As a citizen of Georgia, I know you guys have to be hurt, I was on the Mark Bradley’s blog earlier stating why I didn’t think Smart would come. I know how much you guys wanted him to “come home” and as a Tech fan I am truly sorry for your disappointment. But I must admit, it is pretty funny.

Joe B.

January 11th, 2010
3:13 pm

Kirby Smart is no longer a UGA alum, and he WILL NEVER BE WELCOMED HOME again.

You have lost your home son, and sold your soul to the devil. You are half a man.

BG

January 11th, 2010
3:14 pm

Kirby is Sabans boy! Get out of Sabans shadow Kirby.

thomas

January 11th, 2010
3:14 pm

TW3A

January 11th, 2010
3:14 pm

WE DON’T NEED HIM IF HE DON’T WON’T TO BE HERE…PLUS SABAN SPEAKING FOR HIM CAN’T EVEN TALK FOR HIMSELF

AndyC

January 11th, 2010
3:14 pm

DAWG Trapped in BAMA!

To be honest. UGA is a second rate program compared to Bama so I think he made the right decision.

Native Atlantan

January 11th, 2010
3:14 pm

Bama will just have less money to spend on football players now.

DawginLex

January 11th, 2010
3:14 pm

I was OK with Kirby coming and would have supported him 100% but you just have to wonder how much of that team’s character comes from him. Saban clearly is in charge. His teams don’t make mistakes and beat themselves with stupid penalties. I’m sure Kirby is a good coach and he is potentially looking at another ring in 2010 so I can’t blame him for staying.

We honestly need someone a little more seasoned with solid credentials who can take charge.

Probably gonna be an NFL guy now.

H.T.

January 11th, 2010
3:14 pm

this sucks but its not surprising…

Gomerdawg

January 11th, 2010
3:14 pm

He never really was offered by the dawgs, anyway and didn’t have what it takes to be a dawg

TW3A

January 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

Grantham HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY FIRST CHOICE

Dave Wommack

January 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

I’m available!

pdawg

January 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

Cant Kirby speak for himself???????

Da Blu One!

January 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

Kirby is excluded from chicken cutlet night from now on…

ugagrad05

January 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

rehire Willie!

Willie Martinez

January 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

Stop panicking. The defense is already better than last year.

Ding

January 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

I hope the Cowboys make the super bowl then Saint Richt will have to wait till Sunday after signing day. Jim Leavitt would be a good choice–he could strangle a few.

Happydawg

January 11th, 2010
3:16 pm

I personally could care less about Kirby Smart. A few of us Dawgs didn’t want him as DC anyways. Much better to get a guy with NFL experience to counter TN and now UF’s NFL experienced DC’s. I would love to have Grantham.

so what

January 11th, 2010
3:16 pm

this is not the end of the world In a way it does weaken ALabama…They paid hijm out the nose and it will tricles down which will cause all kinds of problems witht he regents in the state…The salaries are getting out of control for assistants….GA will be fine….I would have liked him here just to see what the fuss was about, however I was not sold on his ability to turn things around…..IT is not about Money at this point. It is about opportunity … Funny that Kirby did not make the announcement may show you about the person….

Dawg

January 11th, 2010
3:16 pm

I don’t see anyone knocking down Tech’s door……..

cherokee

January 11th, 2010
3:16 pm

If he does not have the balls to report it himself, it just shows that he is Sabans boy. Let daddy do the dirty work. Wonder if Saban call CMR for him also.

Scott "Big Poppa Pump" Steiner

January 11th, 2010
3:16 pm

Oh come on fleabags!

Aren’t you guys use to losing by now ???

DZ

January 11th, 2010
3:16 pm

“Who would want to live in Alabama?”

KIRBY SMART WOULD!

———–

Willie Martinez

January 11th, 2010
3:16 pm

See, I told you I was the best you could do.

UGA'72

January 11th, 2010
3:17 pm

Settle down folks. You’re hearing this from Coach Saban, not Coach Smart. I’m willing to bet this isn’t over yet, but is wishful thinking on Coach Saban’s part.

GAGirl

January 11th, 2010
3:17 pm

What does that say about our program that we can’t lure a top-notch DC? I know that college football is a business too but come on Kirby, if you weren’t going to take the job, why stretch it out 3 days? Just say no to begin with so we can move on….

DAWG Trapped in BAMA!

January 11th, 2010
3:17 pm

To be honest with you… I dont think Smart would have gained any discipline/respect at UGA. Reason being, it takes Nick Saban’s demeanor to control not only his players but his assistants as well. I think UGA is better served to have someone who is a little bit older and can demand a little more respect than someone like Smart…. who apparently can’t even make up his mind about his career on his own…. not sure we want someone like this trying to instill discipline on the defensinve side of the ball at UGA