From 8-5 to 12-1 and SEC champions. That kind of job deserves some recognition, and Kirby Smart has received it from his fellow SEC coaches.
The second-year Georgia head coach was voted as the SEC Coach of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday.
After an up-and-down debut season in Athens in 2016, Smart led the Bulldogs to a 12-1 record including an undefeated mark in the SEC East for the first time in school history, Georgia’s first SEC championship since 2005, and the program’s first College Football Playoff berth.
Smart’s award was not the only one received by those who raised the SEC title trophy in Atlanta on Saturday.
Junior inside linebacker Roquan Smith made it four days in a row with an end-of season award as SEC coaches voted him as the Defensive Player of the Year. For the second season is a row, he leads Georgia in tackles; he has totaled 113 so far, with 10½ coming for a loss, and 5½ sacks. Smith was named the MVP of the SEC Championship Game and has led the Bulldogs on and off the field all season.
Quarterback Jake Fromm earned the Freshman of the Year title. After taking over for the injured Jacob Eason in the Bulldogs’ first game of the season, Fromm guided the Georgia offense to the SEC title. He ranks third in the conference in pass efficiency, threw for more than 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns, and received SEC Freshman of the Week recognition three times. He was also named the the SEC’s co-Newcomer of the Year earlier this week.