Will Kirby Smart be SEC’s highest-paid coach? Contract details expected to be released this week

Georgia President Jere Morehead indicated at the UGA spring athletics board meeting that Kirby Smart's new contract was expected to be released in mid-June. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

ATHENS —Kirby Smart has agreed in principle to terms of a multi-year contract extension that ranks among the richest in college football and is expected to be released this week.

University of Georgia President Jere Morehead disclosed as much at the school’s spring athletics board meeting, saying on May 26 that the contract was expected to be finalized “over the next few weeks.”

GRIFFITH: Georgia should pay Kirby Smart at least $10 million annually and feel good about it

Since Morehead revealed Smart’s contract had been sent to the board for final approval, Georgia has released details of raises given to offensive coordinator Todd Monken (from $1.25 million to $2 million annually) and tight ends coach Todd Hartley (from $450,000 to $650,000).

The updated UGA assistant coaching pool salary stands at $8.175 million.

The Bulldogs had the highest assistant coaches salary pool in the SEC last season.

SEC teams’ assistant coach salary pool 2021

(per USA Today salary database)

Georgia: $7.93 million

Alabama: $7.81 million

Texas A&M: $7.61 million

LSU: $6.97 million

Auburn: $6.44 million

Florida: $5.96 million

Tennessee: $5.73 million

Kentucky: $5.45 million

Arkansas: $5.13 million

Ole Miss: $5.03 million

Missouri: $4.89 million

South Carolina: $4.88 million

Mississippi State: $4.83 million

Vanderbilt: Not available

(Source: USA TODAY Sports database)

RELATED: Georgia on top of NFL and college football world

Smart’s new deal

Smart’s salary is expected to have an extension of 10 years and be worth more than $10 million per year, based on comparable salaries of other elite coaches who have won national championships.

RELATED: UGA President hints Kirby Smart in line for massive raise that will surprise no one

New USC coach Lincoln Riley reportedly signed a deal worth $110 million over the next 10 years, in addition to the private school purchasing a $6 million home for him and providing him 24/7 usage of the school’s private jet.

Alabama coach Nick Saban signed a contract extension that runs through 2028 last Summer that paid $8.435 million in 2021.

Super agent Jimmy Sexton, who also represents Smart, built in a clause that pays the 70-year-old Saban an additional $800,000 bonus after each contract year from 2022 through 2025.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day all landed a new deal this offseason that will pay him $9.5 million annually through 2028.

Smart is believed to have made a base salary of $7.2 million last season as part of his current contract, which runs through 2024.

Smart the CEO

Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks recently shared how Smart’s leadership has gone well beyond the football field, helping UGA realize its potential with its first national championship in 40 years this past season.

Coach Smart came in with a vision and helped us develop that vision and cast his vision into facilities and what we needed to do to get caught up,” Brooks said.

“It was his vision and his leadership that got us to this point.”

The UGA athletic department, fans, boosters and supporters are certainly doing their part to support Smart.

RELATED: Kirby Smart excited to have Mike Bobo back at UGA, as analyst and golf partner

Georgia spent more money on football recruiting than any other school in the country in the most pre-pandemic year, a whopping $3.7 million compared to the $2.6 million runner-up Alabama spent.

Former UGA athletic director Greg McGarity said at the time part of those extra costs could be attributed to the school not having its own private jet.

The Bulldogs have also gone all-in to keep Sanford Stadium among the best in the nation, recently announcing that $68.5 million of improvements will be taking place over the next two years, primarily to update and expand the South Concourse and provide new premium seating.

RELATED: Georgia approves two-phase stadium improvement plan for Sanford Stadium

The latest Sanford Stadium project increases Georgia’s spending on new football facilities and enhancements to approximately $243.5 million since Smart took over the program 6 1/2 years ago, including the new $80 million football building that opened last summer.

RELATED: New football building could provide boost for 2022 CFP title run

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