College football world reacts to record-setting Kirby Smart contract

Georgia football-Kirby Smart-contract-reaction
072022 Atlanta: Georgia head coach Kirby Smart takes the stage for his press conference at SEC Media Days with 2021 National Champions flashing on the screen in the College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis”

Kirby Smart was already a rich man. Now, he’s even richer.

The Georgia head coach agreed to a contract extension that will keep him at Georgia through the 2031 season. The new deal, starting in 2022, will pay him $10.25 million this year and increase annually to where he will make $12.25 million in the final year of the contract.

Smart now becomes the highest-paid coach in the sport. He does so after leading Georgia to its first National Championship since 1980. The Bulldogs went 14-1 last season, beating Alabama in the final game of the year.

The Georgia coach released a statement on the news, expressing his excitement that he will remain at Georgia for the foreseeable future.

Related: Georgia football announces details of new Kirby Smart contract

“Mary Beth, my family & I are excited and grateful for the extension of my agreement with The University of Georgia. This is home for us, our roots run deep here. My commitment to this University and our Football program is unwavering,” Smart said in a statement provided by the school.  “I’m thankful to President Jere Morehead and Josh Brooks for their continued support of Georgia Football.  It’s an honor being the head football coach at the University of Georgia, and while I’m certainly proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, I’m confident the best is yet to come!”

Smart arrived at Georgia prior to the 2016 season. The Bulldogs won the SEC and made the College Football Playoff in Smart’s second season and have been one of the top teams in the sport annually. Georgia set a new modern-day NFL draft record with 15 Bulldogs going in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Bulldogs have also recruited exceptionally well under Smart, consistently signing top classes.

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