When you help bring a national championship to Athens for the first time since 1980, you get rewarded for it. And Kirby Smart will certainly reap the benefits for the foreseeable future.
The Georgia Bulldogs announced Thursday they have agreed to terms on a contract extension with the head football coach. It’s a 10-year, $112.5 million deal, making Smart the highest-paid head coach in college football in terms of total value of the contract. Smart will make $10.25 million this season and eventually $12.25 million by 2031.
“Mary Beth, my family & I are excited and grateful for the extension of my agreement with The University of Georgia. This is home for us, our roots run deep here. My commitment to this University and our Football program is unwavering,” Smart said. “I’m thankful to President Jere Morehead and Josh Brooks for their continued support of Georgia Football.
“It’s an honor being the head football coach at the University of Georgia, and while I’m certainly proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, I’m confident the best is yet to come!”
Kirby Smart Could Be the Greatest Head Football Coach in the History of the Georgia Bulldogs
Kirby Smart, 46, made his way to Athens ahead of the 2016 season, coming in with high expectations. Smart, who had been on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama since 2007, was brought in to take Georgia over the hump. Just two years in, Smart got Georgia close, falling to Alabama in the 2018 National Championship game. He was rewarded shortly thereafter with a seven-year, $49 million extension.
The Bulldogs got over that hump this past season, avenging the loss against Alabama to win the national championship. It was the program’s first national title in 42 years, ending four decades of heartbreak for Bulldogs fans.
Georgia’s athletic department has decided to strike now on an extension, as other SEC coaches have this offseason. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame and gave him a 10-year, $95 million deal. Jimbo Fisher re-upped with Texas A&M for $90 million over the next 10 years.
“Coach Smart’s impact on the University of Georgia extends far past his significant accolades as our head football coach,” director of athletics Josh Brooks said. “He and his wife are Bulldogs through and through, and it is evident that Athens and UGA mean as much to him as he means to us. I am excited for our football program’s continued success under his direction. The future of Georgia Football remains bright with Coach Smart as its steadfast leader.”
Kirby Smart is 66-15 overall with Georgia, winning the SEC Championship in 2017. Georgia has appeared in five-straight College Football Playoff or New Year’s Six bowl games under Smart.