Kirby Smart

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Kirby Smart
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Defensive coordinator
Team Alabama
Annual salary $1,280,000
Biographical details
Born (1975-12-23) December 23, 1975 (age 39)
Montgomery, Alabama
Playing career
1995–1998 Georgia
Position(s) Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1999 Georgia (AA)
2000 Valdosta State (DB)
2001 Valdosta State (DC)
2002–2003 Florida State (GA)
2004 LSU (DB)
2005 Georgia (RB)
2006 Miami Dolphins (S)
2007 Alabama (AHC/DB)
2008–present Alabama (DC)
Accomplishments and honors
AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year (2012)
Broyles Award (2009)

Kirby Smart (born December 23, 1975) is an American football coach and former player. He currently is the defensive coordinator at the University of Alabama.

Playing career[edit]

The son of a coach himself, Smart started his football career at Bainbridge High School in Bainbridge, Georgia. He then moved on to play defensive back at the University of Georgia under defensive coordinator Joe Kines, where he was teammates with defensive linemen Antonio Cochran, Emanos Leroy, linebacker Brandon Tolbert and All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey. As a senior, he was a first-team All-SEC pick. He finished his career with 13 interceptions, which is currently fourth on the all-time Georgia ranks. He was also a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.[1]

Smart went undrafted in the 1999 NFL Draft, but signed a free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts, spending the 1999 preseason with the NFL team.[2] He was cut before the 1999 NFL season started, and then turned to coaching.

Coaching career[edit]

Smart began his coaching career with the University of Georgia in 1999, serving as an administrative assistant. He then moved to Valdosta State where he spent one season as defensive backs coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator for the 2001 season. Between the 2002–2003 football season, Smart worked as a graduate assistant under Bobby Bowden at Florida State while pursuing a master's degree. Smart then spent one season as defensive backs coach at LSU under head coach Nick Saban in 2004. Smart rejoined the Georgia Bulldogs football program to serve as running backs coach for the 2005 season. His only season in the NFL came in 2006, during which time he served under Nick Saban again, this time as Miami's safeties coach.

In January 2007, Smart followed Nick Saban to the University of Alabama. On January 9, Saban named Smart an assistant coach.[3] On February 27, 2008, Smart was promoted to the team's defensive coordinator.[4]

On December 8, 2009, Smart was awarded the Broyles Award for the nation's best assistant coach. He is the first Alabama assistant coach to win the award.[5]

Smart considered a lucrative contract to be the defensive coordinator at his alma mater, the University of Georgia, but chose to stay with the Tide in early January 2010. On March 27, 2012, the University of Alabama System's Board Of Trustees voted to increase Smart's salary and extend his contract. Smart remains the highest-paid football assistant on head coach Nick Saban's staff.[6] On November 20, 2012, Smart was recognized as the 2012 AFCA FBS Assistant Coach of the Year.[7]

On April 16, 2013, Smart was granted a $200,000 salary increase to make him the highest-paid defensive coordinator in college football.[8]

Coaching tree[edit]

Notable head coaches under whom Smart has served:


He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in 1998 where he was also a member of the Georgia Beta chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity [9] and received his master's degree from Florida State University in 2003. He is married to Mary Beth Lycett, who played basketball for the University of Georgia.[1] They have three children including twins born in 2008.


  1. ^ a b "Kirby Smart -". Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "'Bama's Saban Names Three Assistants". 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  4. ^ "Saban Announces Football Staff Addition as well as Two Promotions". 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-02-27. [dead link]
  5. ^ Kausler, Don, Jr. (December 8, 2009), "Frank Broyles Award goes to Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart", The Birmingham News 
  6. ^ "Kirby Smart salary upped to $950,000", ESPN, March 27, 2012 
  7. ^ Kausler, Jr., Don (November 20, 2012). "Alabama's Kirby Smart named the assistant coach of the year by the AFCA". Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ Scarborough, Alex (April 16, 2013). "Alabama approves coach contracts". 
  9. ^

External links[edit]