Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart Surprises Football Legend on 100th Birthday

by Chase Thomas
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kirby Smart is a busy man. He’s especially busy this week with Early Signing Day vast approaching where his Georgia Bulldogs figure to clean up in that department once again. Not to mention Smart has the College Football Playoff to consider with his Georgia Bulldogs just a few weeks away from a date with Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines. Ultimately, Kirby Smart has a lot on his plate right now, but the coach found time to surprise another football legend on his 100th birthday this week.

Kirby Smart went to visit the legend, Charley Trippi, this week. Trippi was a star back at the University of Georgia. He was even a runner-up for the Heisman in 1946 when he was still at UGA. His jersey has actually been retired by the Bulldogs in Athens which is where Trippi still resides to this day.

A great moment and gesture by Kirby Smart to make Trippi’s 100th birthday so special.

Kirby Smart And The Dawgs

The Georgia Bulldogs still very much control their own destiny under Kirby Smart this season. The Dawgs will likely have to go through the Wolverines and the Crimson Tide to achieve their dreams, but that’s what makes college football the excitement that it is.

Still, Kirby Smart is finding time to have fun. He told SI, “I have fun watching these guys practice. These guys go about their meetings and practice every day so seriously, taking notes, getting nuggets. Their coaches do an awesome job, but these guys are special.”

It’s a special group up there in Athens, Georgia. The Dawgs were dealt a tough blow against the Alabama Crimson Tide and Nick Saban.

He knows how to have fun, too, though. As Kirby Smart and Nick used to team up while both were at Alabama years ago.

Saban said of Kirby, “I respect Kirby as a competitor.” He continued, “He was always on my team in noontime basketball, so I know what he’s like.”

Smart added, “He would pick the teams.” This certainly sounds like typical Nick Sabana. Smart continued, “He was the ref. He was the general manager. He was the owner. Fortunately, I got to play on his team. (Will) Muschamp got demoted once I got there. He wanted the younger, more talented guy. He didn’t want Will and Derek (Dooley) on his team anymore. We had some really physical battles.”

How hilarious is that, Outsiders? Saban took that noontime basketball very seriously. It was important for him to dial in and win. He wanted to win with you and Kirby fit the bill. The two know each other quite well. Only time will tell, though, if Kirby Smart is finally able to get the win versus his longtime mentor in Saban in the College Football Championship in January.