Georgia football coach Kirby Smart: hiring Alabama’s Scott Cochran ‘elevates our entire program’

Georgia football-Scott Cochran
Georgia coach Kirby Smart made the aggressive move of hiring former Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran for a position coach special teams with the Bulldogs on Monday.

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart hired Scott Cochran as special teams coordinator on Monday, but he expects it to be a move that elevates the entire program.

“Ask anyone who’s been around him, Scott’s passion and energy is contagious,” Smart said in a statement from UGA.

“Special Teams Coordinator is a great fit as he’ll be working with all position groups. His knowledge and experience elevates our entire program, and we’re excited to welcome the Cochran family to Athens.”

Smart and Cochran spent nine years together on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama between 2007-2015. Smart was working as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, Cochran the head strength and conditioning coach.

RELATED: Nick Saban reacts to Scott Cochran leaving Alabama for Georgia

Cochran, however, yearned for more, and Smart saw fit to give him the opportunity that Saban would not.

The Bulldogs have had an on-field coaching staff vacancy since Jan. 24, when James Coley left to join the Texas A&M staff.

There was some thought UGA could have Todd Hartley coach special teams in addition to tight ends. Former special teams coach Scott Fountain left Georgia after the season to join Sam Pittman’s Arkansas staff.

But Smart found what he believes is a better option that will serve the program better.

RELATED: How Georgia hiring Scott Cochran could hurt Alabama football

Former Alabama assistant and current Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin is among the many to have endorsed Cochran’s work, per UGA.

“Scott’s one of the most energetic coaches I have worked with,” Kiffin said.  “He developed great relationships with our players while I was at Alabama.  I know that he will be successful as he moves on the field with Kirby at Georgia and I believe will be a head coach one day.”

Former Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, now the head coach at Maryland, pointed to Cochran as one of the three pillars of success, long with trainer Jeff Allen and Saban.

“You want to know what the consistency is? It’s Nick Saban, (and) it’s Scott Cochran (and) it’s Jeff Allen. Those three pieces: the training room, the strength program and Coach Saban. Those are the pillars of what Alabama is and those three haven’t changed.”

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