Georgia football: Kirby Smart mulling offer to leave Alabama to be UGA defensive coordinator

January 11, 2010 

Offer could double salary for defensive coordinator

By DAVID HALE

dhale@ledger-enquirer.com

ATHENS, Ga. — Thirty-nine days have passed since Georgia head coach Mark Richt fired defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and two other assistant coaches. While the rumor mill swirled at a frenetic pace during the weekend, Georgia still hasn’t made a hire.

It’s been widely reported that the Bulldogs offered the job to Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, a former Georgia defensive back and assistant coach, after the Crimson Tide won the national championship last week. Sources say the job would come with a salary that could double Smart’s current contract — he earns a base of $360,000 per year with Alabama — but he has yet to accept the position.

Richt refused to address the situation Sunday, repeating statements that he would not comment on the search until a hire had been made.

“I’ll tell you what I’ve been saying all along is that I’m not going to make any comment on the search until I’ve got my guy,” Richt said. “I’ll let you know when it happens, I promise.”

Alabama has not confirmed that an offer was made by Georgia either, nor has the school released any information about a potential counter-offer.

Smart won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach this past season and was rumored to be in consideration for the vacant head coaching job at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders refuted those reports, however, and Alabama head coach Nick Saban seemed frustrated with any notion of one of his assistants making a lateral move following the national championship game.

“I’m not pleased when guys make lateral moves,” Saban said following Alabama’s win over Texas in Pasadena, Calif. “You always think it’s better someplace else. You kind of let your ego get involved, and you make moves that you shouldn’t make that really aren’t in your best interest from a career standpoint. So I’m not happy when guys do that. But anybody on our staff who can move up, we would like to help them do that.”

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