Rival SEC coaches know about Kirby Smart’s legendary competitiveness on the recruiting trail.
Apparently, it all starts at home for the UGA football coach.
Smart was asked if his kids win when the family competes together in games such as whiffle ball during an interview with ESPN’s SEC Network that aired on Monday.
“They don’t (win),” Smart replied, per 247sports.com’s Jordan James.
“We’re not going to let them win. I said, ‘The time that you beat us as adults, me or your mom, you will have earned it. The last thing we’re going to do is let you win out of pity.'”
Before entering the coaching profession, Smart was an accomplished student-athlete. He was his senior class president and the salutatorian in high school, while also earning a football scholarship to UGA. His wife also excelled at a high level, playing basketball for the Bulldogs. The couple has three children together.
During the ESPN interview, Smart explained that his fierce competitiveness is a characteristic shared by the rest of the family.
“It embodies everything we are,” Smart said. “Whether we’re playing Spades around the house, pick-up basketball, whiffle ball on the beach, we’re going to get after it. We play to win in that household …when you come in our house you have to play by our rules …”
Just in case you think the Smart family is too serious, the coach also admitted with a grin that there’s sometimes a “little bit of smack talk — just a little bit.”
None of this should come as any surprise to those who grew up around Smart in Bainbridge, Ga. Next to his senior photo in his high school yearbook, Smart listed exactly what he wanted to be remembered for: “Being intense in competition.”