Kirby Smart Just Got A Record Contract Extension From Georgia


By most college football programs’ standards, the Georgia Bulldogs had a successful 2023 season. The team finished 13-1 — its lone loss a mere three-point defeat — and won its bowl game, eviscerating a depleted Florida State roster by 60 points in the Orange Bowl.

The only problem is that Georgia has higher standards than perhaps any other team in the country. That lone loss? It came against SEC rival Alabama in the National Championship Game. Because of how other games shook out, Georgia dropped from first to sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Teams with the kind of success Georgia has had do things a bit differently, including how they pay their coaches.

Georgia and head coach Kirby Smart agreed to a 10-year, $130 million contract extension. It makes Smart the highest-paid coach in college football and is the first time a coach has ever received $13 million per season.

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Smart’s new deal, which includes $1.55 million in bonuses, runs through the 2033 season. He was scheduled to make $10.75 million this year, but the new salary will kick in immediately, giving Smart a solid pay increase.

Under his watch, the Bulldogs have gone 94-16. Georgia won national championships in 2021 and 2022 and also reached the title game in 2017. Aside from Smart’s first season in 2016, the Bulldogs have never lost more than two games in a season. The Bulldogs also won SEC championships in 2017 and 2022.

With Alabama’s Nick Saban retiring after this year’s playoff, college football lost one of its greatest rivalries. Former Washington coach Kalen DeBoer signed with Alabama and will look to continue the winning tradition of Crimson Tide football.

DeBoer’s total contract is worth about $43 million less than what Smart is making, though neither coach is likely too concerned about that. They’re more focused on getting their programs back to another title game. This year was the first time since the 2018 season that an SEC team didn’t win the championship and the first time since 2014 that the SEC wasn’t represented at all in the title game.

So, while Smart is likely pleased with a record-setting contract, he won’t be celebrating for long. Another season missing the College Football Playoff would be a disappointment.

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