Kirby Smart knows a little bit about national championships.
In fact, on Jan. 11, 2016, when he was the University of Alabama’s defensive coordinator, he coached in a national championship game only 12 hours before he began his current job as head coach at the University of Georgia.
Smart is back at the championship game, this time with a twist -- when Smart leads the Bulldogs onto the field in Atlanta Monday he will be going up against his old boss, Alabama coach Nick Saban.
Smart and Saban have worked together three times – at Louisiana State University, the University of Alabama and in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.
While Saban is considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game, Smart has had an impressive start to his head coaching career at Georgia, making it to the national championship game in his second year at UGA.
Here are 11 things you may not know about Smart.
- Smart was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and grew up in Bainbridge, Georgia.
- His father was a high school football coach.
- He began his coaching career at Georgia, the place where he played defensive back during his college career.
- Smart is one of nine head coaches from Power 5 conferences who are coaching at their alma maters.
- He married the former Mary Beth Lycett in 2006. They have three children.
- It is his second year as head football coach at Georgia. He went 8-5 in his first season.
- He also coached at Valdosta State, Florida State University (where he pursued a master's degree), Louisiana State University (under head coach Nick Saban), and the University of Alabama. Smart spent a season coaching in the NFL under Saban with the Miami Dolphins.
- According to al.com, Smart said South Carolina coach Will Muschamp helped him get an interview with Saban about a job at LSU when Saban was the head coach there. He was hired as a defensive backs coach in 2004.
- As a head coach, he has a 21-6 record.
- He was an Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalist in 2017.
- The victory over the University of Oklahoma in the 2018 Rose Bowl was one of seven fourth-quarter comeback wins Smart has led Georgia to in the past two years.
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