Bainbridge native Kirby Smart tapped to become next UGA football coach, according to media reports

Kirby Smart
Kirby Smart

Georgia will hire Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to replace former coach Mark Richt, who was fired on Sunday after coaching the Bulldogs for 15 seasons, according to ESPN and other media sources.

VIDEO: Get to Know Kirby Smart (

Smart has led the nation’s top defense since taking over as the Tide’s defensive coordinator in 2008.

Smart, a former University of Georgia player and assistant coach, has not signed a contract with the Bulldogs, and won’t be able to do so until after Alabama plays Florida in Saturday’s SEC championship game in Atlanta.

University of Georgia officials were reportedly interested in hiring Smart after deciding to part ways with Mark Richt, and the official announcement of Smart’s hiring could come as soon as Sunday.

Smart, a native of Bainbridge, Georgia, has long been tied to Georgia, where he played football and graduated from in the late 1990s.

Smart’s wife, the former Mary Beth Lycett, is a former Georgia basketball player and worked in the school’s athletics department. Smart also owns a vacation lake home near Athens.

Smart was the 2009 Broyles Award winner as the country’s top assistant coach, and he was also named the 2012 American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year.

As a player, Smart was a four-year letterman at defensive back for Georgia, where he was a first team all-SEC pick as a senior. He finished his career with 13 interceptions, which was fourth in Georgia annals, and led the Bulldogs with six interceptions in 1997 and five in 1998. A four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, Smart earned his undergraduate degree in finance from Georgia and his master’s degree from Florida State in 2003.

Kirby also earned All-Southeastern Conference honors as a safety with the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

Played at UGA 1994(RS) 1995-1998. 1998 1st team All-Sec Safety & Academic All-American.

Free Agent tryout with the Indianapolis Colts.

At Bainbridge High School

Kirby Smart played under his father, former Bainbridge High School Head Coach Sonny Smart, in the early 1990s. The younger Smart was part of a team that finished 10-3 in 1993 and reached the semifinal round of the Georgia Class AAAA state football playoffs.

In 1993, the Bearcats went 8-2 in the regular season. In the playoffs, Bainbridge defeated Colquitt County High School 21-10, defeated the Valdosta High School Wildcats 10-7 and defeated the Lowndes County High School Vikings 21-6.

BHS Career Stats –
Int.-16 Int.173 yards 1 td;
Fumble Recoveries 7
Punt Returns 24-303 yards 1 td 4 FC; 12.6 avg.
Kick Returns 5-123; 24.6 Avg.
Passing 1-1-16 yards;
Rushing 1-2 yards.

1st team All-Region 1992 & 1993 and led region in Ints.
Region 1-AAAA Defensive player of the year in 1993; First team All-State Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Played in the 1994 Ga/Fla. All-Star game.

Kirby Smart was also an All-Region infielder for the Bainbridge High School baseball team, under Coach Stan Killough, and also played basketball for BHS. Smart was also a member of the Bainbridge Barracudas club swim team.

Kirby is the son of Sonny and Sharon Smart.

Related Stories:
VIDEO: Get to Know Kirby Smart (
Better Known a Coach: Kirby Smart (DawgSports)
Kirby Smart: Official University of Alabama Biography (

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