Kirby Smart understands the journey Scott Cochran has been on to find sobriety in the last year because the Georgia coach has been there to support him.

Cochran, a long-time strength and conditioning coach at Alabama who joined the Georgia staff as a special teams coach, stepped away from the program last year. Cochran has since re-joined the program in an off-field role.

At the podium on Wednesday, Smart discussed the conversations and commitment to support Cochran.

“Scott Cochran spends a tremendous amount of time with our players on a personal level,” Smart said. “They value the relationship that he creates with them. He spends time with them, meaningful time with them. I think a lot of our players saw the human side with Scott, that we all know addiction is real. It probably affected me as the leader of the organization for the first time, to have someone on your staff be involved with that.”

Smart shared that he’s received help from outside sources on how to manage the situation.

“I’m so proud of what he’s done and how he’s fought back to bring himself back and be the husband and father that he’s always been,” Smart said. “He’s a tremendous husband and father. That’s first. He’s a mentor to the players on our team. He’s got tons of players that played at Alabama that still reach out to him and talk to him. They come and work out at our place and see him because they value that relationship that he had with them. He’s a special person that’s meant a lot to a lot of people. We’ve stood there by him and supported him, and we’ll continue to do that.”