ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart teamed up with former QB David Dukes in the 2019 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge on Tuesday and raised $90,000 with a second-place finish in the closed celebrity event.
The money will be split between an endowed scholarship at UGA and the Kirby Smart Family Foundation, according to a UGA spokesman.
The event did provided a controlled interview with each coach at the event, which was closed to media.
Here is a paraphrased recap of Kirby Smart’s question-answer session:.
Q: What charity are you playing for?
Kirby: “The Kirby Smart Family Foundation, which Mary Beth and I started when we got to the University of Georgia. We look across the state of Georgia and really, a 5-hour radius from Athens for families in need, maybe families that are struggling with support for cancer.
I had a brother who had leukemia, Mary Beth lost her mom to breast cancer, so, for us it’s about helping the families in need across the state.
Q: Is there one thing you would have liked to have invented?
Kirby: “Smart phone, because I know everybody has got one and they all came along slowly and they changed the world we lived in with everything at the tip of your fingers.
I think it changed the way we recruit these young men, and it changed the way the students in college work, but probably that. I wouldn’t be here sitting, if I had invented the smart phone, I’ll say that.”
Q: The Golf Gods have granted you one thing, either every drive 300 yards down the middle of the fairway or sink every putt from within 6 feet?
Kirby: “Absolutely every single put from six feet, because the level of consistency driving the ball for me is probably not going to matter, just get me to the green and then go make those six footers, they mean a lot more, and every stroke is one stroke, so I need to get that one in from six feet every time.
Q: Do you have any pregame rituals?
Kirby: “I usually wear a coat and tie to whatever game we’re in, I think it started back when i was at Alabama, I don’t like untying the tie, so I just take it off and leave it tied for after the game. I’m always thinking of what I’m going to be thinking after the game, win or lose, so I place the tie in the locker still tied and leave it that way through the game.
“It started working at Alabama, won so many games, I thought it was because of the tie, didn’t have anything to do with the players, but somehow I got to Georgia and I realized that wasn’t the case, doesn’t always work at Georgia
Q: What’s your most meaningful win?
Kirby: “That’s tough, because there are so many wins that meant a lot to me throughout my career, certainly, I would have to say being a head coach it makes them a little bit more special, whether it’s the first one in the Chick-Fil-A Classic against North Carolina, in my first game ever (head) coaching, or going to the Auburn SEC Championship Game, because winning an SEC Championship nowadays is almost as hard as winning a national championship.
So for us, those would probably be our two biggest.”
What’s at the top of your personal bucket list?
Kirby: “That’s a tough one, man. I think maybe going over to the British Open courses, being able to go over and play all the different places, and going to take a run through and knock three or four of those out would be pretty special to me.
What’s your hidden talent?
Kirby: “As far as hidden talent, I can’t play the guitar, I can’t sing, I used to be able to run pretty fast, but there’s not a lot of hidden talents.
My wife would tell you I have an amazing ability to watch a golf match on the couch for like five straight hours without moving, like Master’s Sunday. She thinks it’s phenomenal I can go without moving and ask the kids to get everything for me, but I don’t know that I’ve got a true hidden talent.”
Q: It’s Sunday family dinner, you’re in charge, what’s on the menu?
Kirby: “I’m going to have to go with some grilled burgers, medium, some tater tots and a lot of side items, baked beans, I’m a simple man when it comes to that a good meal.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart