Alabama Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart has decided to stay at the University of Alabama. Nick Saban announced the decision on Monday.
As was reported recently, Kirby Smart was offered the defensive coordinator position at his alma mater, the University of Georgia. In my opinion, this is a great decision for Kirby Smart. He has a phenomenal situation at Alabama. With the Tide likely to be in a similar championship contending position next season, he will have new and perhaps better offers for head coaching positions next season.
The Georgia situation he would have been going into isn’t stable with so much discussion about Mark Richt’s future as head coach. He could have been looking at a new head coach after one season with no guarantee of being retained. That would be risky to enter into. The allure of his alma mater was there, but in the end, it would have been a lateral move in coaching title and a lower move in program status.
It will likely take a head coaching offer at a great program to lure Smart away. Texas Tech reportedly went after Coach Smart after the championship game, so it will likely take a better situation from that to get Kirby Smart.
Expect at some point this off-season, Alabama to announce a significant raise (double or triple his current salary for Coach Smart and the entire staff. This is a win-win for Kirby Smart and the Alabama program.
The press release on Coach Smart’s decision from UA Athletics Media Relations is below. Be sure to sign-up for e-mail alerts, so you never miss a post on Alabama or the SEC, by selecting subscribe on my main page.
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR KIRBY SMART TO STAY AT ALABAMA
Tuscaloosa, Ala. — 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 Nick 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.”