Kirby Smart-Georgia football-UGA football
Georgia coach Kirby Smart (center) is up for another national honor for the 2022 season. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)

Kirby Smart SEC’s only finalist for FWAA Coach of the Year Award, looks to join Vince Dooley among its winners

ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart looks to follow in the footsteps of UGA legend Vince Dooley yet again.

A postseason honors parade which in many cases has featured “best” vs. “most deserving” continued on Tuesday with the coach of the best team this season among the eight finalists for Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year.

RELATED: Social media reacts to Kirby Smart getting snubbed by AP SEC Coach of Year

Smart, who finished third in the SEC Coach of the Year voting conducted by an Associated Press panel, is the SEC’s only representative among the group.

RELATED: Kirby Smart among many who stir memories, the greatness of Vince Dooley

Smart is Georgia’s third coach to be a finalist, and this marks the third time he has reached this stage of consideration.

Coach Dooley won the FWAA Coach of the Year Award in 1980 after leading Georgia to a national championship behind SEC All-Time Great Herschel Walker. Jim Donnan was a finalist in 1997 back when Smart played for him as a safety at UGA.

The list of finalists:

• Georgia coach Kirby Smart

• TCU coach Sonny Dykes

• Duke coach Mike Elko

• Tulane coach Willie Fritz

• Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh

• USC coach Lincoln Riley

• Troy coach Jon Sumrall

• UTSA coach Jeff Traylor

Smart, Harbaugh and Dykes coach the No. 1 (Georgia), No. 2 (Michigan) and No. 3 (TCU) seeds in the four-team CFP.

The College Football Playoffs begin on Dec. 31 with the Peach Bowl Semifinal in Atlanta (8 p.m.) and the Fiesta Bowl Semifinal in Glendale, Ariz. (4 p.m.).

Many had opined that Heupel “deserved” to be the SEC’s Coach of the Year over Smart because he inherited a team coming off a 3-7 season in 2020 and two years later went 10-2.

Smart made history this season at Georgia with the school’s first-ever 13-0 season despite the biggest departure of elite talent in history.

The Bulldogs lost a record 15 players to the NFL draft and another 13 players — including four former starters — in the transfer portal.

Members of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) will vote on the award, with the winner being announced on Dec. 20.

The winner will be presented with the award at a reception on Jan. 7, 2023, in Los Angeles at the site of the CFP Championship Game.

“We have a great group of finalists coaches for the FWAA’s 2022 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award,” said Steve Richardson, FWAA Executive Director. “All are winners and have done outstanding jobs at their respective schools in the mold of one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game. It is our pleasure to support this award and Coach Rob’s legacy along with the Allstate Sugar Bowl. We greatly appreciate the Sugar Bowl’s partnership.”

Per the release, the FWAA has presented a coaching award since the 1957 season when Ohio State’s Woody Hayes was named the first recipient.

The FWAA coaching award is named after the late Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University for 55 seasons.

NextBrock Bowers shares hilarious reason for enjoying SEC championship …
Leave a Comment