ATHENS — It’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but Kirby Smart made some money when Georgia avoided a bowl in Birmingham or Shreveport.
Smart’s contract calls for him to receive a $75,000 bonus for reaching one of the Pool of Six bowls, of which the Liberty is one. Georgia was placed into that bowl, which is Dec. 30 in Memphis against TCU. There’s no bonus for winning the game.
If Georgia had fallen to the Birmingham or Independence (in Shreveport, La.) bowls, then his bonus would have only been $50,000.
But Smart did miss out on bigger bonuses: He would have received $100,000 for making the Citrus Bowl, the bowl that gets first choice of SEC teams after the playoffs and New Year’s Six bowls. There was an outside chance of Georgia getting consideration for the Citrus if it hadn’t lost to Georgia Tech.
Smart can earn up to $1.6 million for on-field performance bonuses. That’s broken down this way:
- Up to $1 million for potseason performance. It’s the full amount for winning the national title, then drops down gradually: $600,000 for playing in the national title game, $500,000 for making the semifinals, $200,000 for playing in one of the major bowl games (Sugar, Rose, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta or Peach), and then $100,000 for the Citrus, and so on.
- Up to $400,000 for winning the SEC championship. Smart would get $150,000 for winning the SEC East but not the conference title game.
- Finally, Smart also gets $200,000 for finishing in the top 5 of either the AP or coaches poll.
In addition, there are a couple off-field bonuses:
- Smart gets $50,000 if he’s named the SEC coach of the year, and $100,000 if he’s the national coach of the year. (He can get $150,000 for winning both.)
- There’s also $50,000 bonus if the Bulldogs finish in the top 33 percent of SEC teams in both the Graduation Succcess Rate and Academic Progress Rate.
Smart, wrapping up his first year as Georgia’s head coach, is the SEC’s 10th highest paid coach, per USA TODAY’s database, earning a base salary of $375,000 per year.