Kirby Smart has taken college football by storm during his young career.
In just his second season at Georgia in 2017, Smart led the Bulldogs to an SEC Championship win, Rose Bowl win and a national championship berth. However, he was beaten by his former boss, Nick Saban, and his former team, Alabama, in the College Football Playoff final. He was named the Georgia Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year for the 2017 season.
While his first season in 2016 was somewhat disappointing — finished 8-5 overall, his second season sure wasn’t.
During the first game of the season, starting QB Jacob Eason went out with a leg injury and true freshman Jake Fromm took over. Fromm helped lead Georgia’s explosive offense to an SEC Championship and Rose Bowl win. Eason ended up transferring following the 2017 season.
During its historic season, Georgia’s one loss came to Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium, but the Dawgs got revenge on Gus Malzahn and the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game, 28-7.
While the Bulldogs have turned things around on the field, the recruiting has certainly followed suit. In the 2018 class alone, the Bulldogs snapped Nick Saban’s and Alabama’s No. 1 recruiting class streak, signing a whopping seven 5-star prospects, including the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB, No. 1 RB, No. 1 OG and No. 1 OLB.
Smart came to Georgia from Alabama where he was the Tide’s defensive coordinator. Alabama’s defense consistently ranked among the nation’s best in every major statistical category under Smart’s watch. Smart followed Saban to Alabama after coaching with him with the Miami Dolphins.
Smart began his coaching career as an administrative assistant at Georgia in 1999 and spent six years on the collegiate level — Valdosta State (2000-01), Florida State (2002-03), LSU (2004) and Georgia (2005) — before departing for the NFL.
The 2009 Broyles recipient and 2012 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year has led a suffocating Crimson Tide defense to three national championships during his tenure and the coveted title of the SEC’s best defense. Several of his players have won individual national awards and many have been picked in the early rounds of the NFL Draft.