ATHENS — Tuesday was not Mike Bobo’s first time speaking as a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s best assistant coach. He was first a finalist in 2012.

Bobo was up on stage again on Tuesday, along with Michigan’s Sherrone Moore, LSU’s Mike Denbrock, Oregon’s Will Stein and 2023 Broyles Award winner Phil Parker of Iowa.

Bobo spoke about his journey as a coach, from his long-time desire to be a high school coach, to how Jim Donnan, Mark Richt and Kirby Smart all have shaped his career.

“We’ve had a great year. I want to say a lot of that is because of our head coach Kirby Smart. I played with Coach Smart,” Bobo said. “We grew up together in South Georgia. Both our dads were high school coaches. And then to come back and have an opportunity to be there at the University of Georgia with him and under his leadership and the direction he sets every day, it’s been a blessing for me and my family.”

This was Bobo’s first season as Georgia’s offensive coordinator since 2014. He took the reins from Todd Monken, who was a finalist for the award last season. Bobo worked as an analyst last season with Monken and the Bulldogs.

While Bobo lamented the Georgia season not ending the way he hoped, Georgia’s offense still found plenty of success this season.

“It’s about the players. We get into this profession to help players, and I can’t say enough about the group of players at the University of Georgia, the expectations that these kids have on them coming off of back-to-back National Championship seasons to perform,” Bobo said. “They poured it all in, and we came up a little bit short, but I love those guys and how they perform. I can’t say enough about the character of that football team, especially on offense. Week in and week out, they laid it on the line for the University of Georgia, and I love you guys.”

Georgia ranked ninth in points per game at 38.4 and eighth in total offense this season. That’s all while dealing with injuries to key players such as Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey and Amarius Mims and breaking in a new starting quarterback in Carson Beck. The Bulldogs went 12-1, with the lone defeat coming in the SEC championship game to Alabama.

Bobo also works as Georgia’s offensive coordinator. He played a key role in Georgia landing touted quarterback prospects Dylan Raiola and Ryan Puglisi, who are both expected to enroll at Georgia later this month.

Georgia will have one more game to finish out this season, as the Bulldogs take on Florida State in the Orange Bowl. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. ET kickoff on Dec. 30. ESPN will broadcast the game.

Mike Bobo speaks as Broyles Award finalist