Kirby Smart has taken college football by storm, having led the Georgia Bulldogs to back-to-back national championships in 2021 and 2022. In the 2022 season, Georgia went a perfect 15-0 en route to the College Football Playoff title.
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.
He has won the SEC Coach of the Year award 3 times — 2017, 2021 and 2022.
While his first season in 2016 was somewhat disappointing — finished 8-5 overall, his second season sure wasn’t.
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.
In Smart’s first title-winning season in 2021, Georgia’s only loss was to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, 41-24. After blowing out Michigan in the CFP semifinals, 34-11, the Dawgs got their revenge on the Tide, winning the championship game 33-18.
In the 2022 College Football Playoff, the Bulldogs squeaked by Ohio State 42-41 in the semifinals before a historic performance against TCU in the title game. The Dawgs blew out the Horned Frogs 65-7 to claim a second-straight title. That 58-point drubbing of TCU is the biggest margin of victory ever in a bowl game.
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. In the years since, Smart has kept Georgia among the recruiting juggernauts.
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 led a suffocating Crimson Tide defense to 3 national championships during his tenure and the coveted title of the SEC’s best defense. But what he’s done at Georgia, bringing the Bulldogs their first national championship since 1980 (and then following it up a year later with another), is the stuff of legend.
Several of his players have won individual national awards and many have been picked in the early rounds of the NFL Draft.
Kirby Smart’s Coaching Experience
- 1999: Georgia — Administrative assistant
- 2000: Valdosta State — Defensive backs coach
- 2001: Valdosta State — Defensive coordinator
- 2002-03: Florida State — Graduate assistant
- 2004: LSU — Defensive backs coach
- 2005: Georgia — Running backs coach
- 2006: Miami Dolphins (NFL) — Safeties coach
- 2007: Alabama — Assistant head coach/defensive backs coach
- 2008-15: Alabama — Defensive coordinator
- 2016-present: Georgia — Head coach
Head Coaching Record
- Georgia (7 seasons): 81-15 (49-12 in SEC play)