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Professionalism, success helped Dell McGee land spot on Kirby Smart’s staff at Georgia

Georgia Southern players carry interim coach Dell McGee after the team's 58-27 win over Bowling Green in the GoDaddy Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Mobile, Ala.
Georgia Southern players carry interim coach Dell McGee after the team's 58-27 win over Bowling Green in the GoDaddy Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Mobile, Ala. AP

It wasn’t that long ago that Dell McGee was one of the high school coaches at the annual Minority Coaches Association of Georgia football conference listening for career advice.

He detailed his path landing a job as Georgia’s running backs coach at this year’s event Thursday night as part of panel with fellow SEC assistants.

McGee’s new boss Kirby Smart added his own perspective on hiring the Columbus native at the conference on Friday. The two met when Smart visited Carver High School throughout his time as Alabama’s defensive coordinator to recruit McGee’s former players.

“It was easy, he identified himself (as a candidate) by the way he carried himself,” Smart said. “The professionalism with the way he carried himself at Carver. He was successful, he was organized and he was structured. He had good players which helps too, but it was more about what Dell stands for as a man and a person.”

Smart kept an eye on McGee as the Auburn alum worked his way into the collegiate ranks as a graduate assistant at his alma mater before landing at Georgia Southern as a running backs coach.

“It just carried over when he came to college,” Smart said of McGee’s success.

Smart sounded fortunate to have landed the Columbus native.

“He was ripe for the picking,” Smart said. “He was ready to go. He’s really good at what he does.”

In discussing recruiting, Smart underlined the importance of McGee’s spot on his staff.

“I think running back recruiting is extremely important every year because backs are highly likely cause of the length of their careers to come out early,” Smart said. “I think any time you are working on a three-year span or four-year span if a guy is redshirted there’s a faster turnover. It’s not always a developmental position. It’s a critical position which is why I’m glad we have Dell McGee recruiting for us, he’s really good at it.”

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