Here is the official release:
Tuscaloosa — University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban announced Monday that defensive coordinator Kirby Smart would remain in his current position with the Crimson Tide. Smart won the 2009 Broyles Award, given annually to the top assistant coach in college football. He just finished his third season at Alabama and the Tide ranked second nationally in total defense and scoring defense in 2009.

Quote from Head Coach HhhNick Saban:
“We’ve very pleased and happy that Kirby is going to be staying here at the University of Alabama with us. He’s done a fabulous job for us. He’s one of the finest assistant coaches in the country. You expect guys like Kirby to get lots of opportunities to do things, and we want to continue to help him continue to develop his career here so that when he leaves here, it’s going to be to be a head coach and probably in a very good situation. So we’re excited about that. We’re happy for him and his family. It’s very pleasing to us.”

Quote from Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart:
“I think it was pretty well known that there was an opportunity to return to my alma mater as defensive coordinator. I wouldn’t even have considered discussing the position with any other school, but when it is a place I’ve spent some of my best years and had some great memories, I thought it was something I should discuss with my family and figure out what was best.

“After thinking about all the factors over the last couple days, we are going to stay at the University of Alabama. We love it in Tuscaloosa, have made some great friends here and I think we are building something special here at Alabama with Coach Saban. I have learned so much in the time I’ve spent with Coach Saban, and every year I feel like I become a better coach.

“I’ve got a great deal of respect for Coach Richt and the job he has done there and the University of Georgia will also have a special place in my heart. Not only did I play there, but my wife played basketball there and we have a lot of friends at UGA.

“At the end of the day, I just feel like this is where I am supposed to be and this is a special time to be at the University of Alabama.”


  1. Good decision. Even looking at it outside of my obvious bias, why would you leave a private yacht for the Titanic? Richt is trying to reinvent himself just like Tuberville did. It’s not going to work. He’s done. The sooner UGA realizes this, the sooner they’ll be in contention for the SEC East.

  2. UGA’s program is not a train wreck. The problem is Richt’s loyalty. Since Willy Martinez was the defensive coordinator the lost at least one game every season that can be credited to Martinez’s inability to make adjustments. Examples of games that got out hand thanks to Willy are West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl and the debacle in Athens against Alabama. Both of those games in my opinion lost thanks to Willy!!!

  3. Hope this is the right decision for the Smart family . . . something tells me that it might not be. If he is happy standing in the shadow of Saban for the rest of his career at AL . . . so be it. I just don’t have that warm and fuzzy feeling about how the whole thing was handled. Lot’s of speculation going on.

  4. I don’t know WHY Coach Smart would even think about jumping ship to another program that is about to sink anyways.

    Mark Richt IS on the hot seat whether people want to agree or not. He would be gone right now if it were not for the Georgia Tech win and Vince Dooley’s influence.

    All Coach Smart has to do is stay on a National Championship caliber team and get himself a HEAD coaching job instead of a D-Cor job. Money helps but isn’t always the deciding factor…ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!

  5. uga75 — please…

    Why would he be a shadow underneath a worse coach.

    I think he would rather be “in the shadow” of a winner rather than a loser.

    Going to Georgia = staying a D-Cor longer.

    Staying at BAMA = a future HEAD coaching job.


  6. Every coach deep down knows to coach under Saban is learning from the Master.
    Humility in a decision like this displayed by Coach Smart is wise.

  7. WOW, I have read all of the mindless comments on this page. Let’s not forget 2007 when coach Richt went into Tusscaloosa and beat the hell out of Saban. He’s not the savior, he is just a man that coachs a team that got lucky and didn’t loose a game. How does anyone know that if coach smart went to UGA he wouldn’t be the next head coach. He could stay at AL and never be a head coach, but if he goes to UGA and does a good job, I would think he has a great chance to be the next UGA head coach.

  8. I love that dawg1, beat the hell out of who, winning in overtime isn’t exactly an ass whipping, but u did win. I do remember the following year as well 41-30 shellacking Stafford took in athens. Suck on that. Kirby is smart enough to stay the hell away from that swirling toilet in GA for now.

  9. Smart is smart enough to know that Richt’s time at Georgia is limited. They will NEVER beat Florida…and now Tennessee has taken over the 2nd spot in the SEC East. Kentucky, may be the #3 team in the east.

    How many years will Georgia settle for being 3rd-4th best….just in the SEC east alone? Not many.

    …so why would Smart willfully walk into a ticking bomb?

    …even if Smart did leave Alabama this year…Georgia wouldn’t be the place to go….unless he was offered the head coaching job.

  10. Richt is NOT helping coordinators to better jobs, he is firing them. It would be a big gamble to go to UGA right now, and if the program struggles, his stock goes down. Kirby won a coaching award this year. Why not be patient and get a HC job next year, plus enjoy the fruits of his training and recruiting efforts from this year.

  11. dawg1 Says:
    January 12th, 2010 at 12:08 am

    “… He could stay at AL and never be a head coach, but if he goes to UGA …”

    And you said mindless comments. Compare The University of Alabama vs. georgia.

    Crystal & more …

Comments are closed.