SAVANNAH — Now that he’s able to take a breath, Kirby Smart is facing yet another adjustment to being a head coach: His wife being sick of him.
Those are his words, at least, in describing how this month is going. And he has his former boss to thank: The so-called Nick Saban bump rule was imposed by the NCAA several years ago to stop head coaches from recruiting on the road this time of year.
So while Smart’s nine assistants hit the road recruiting, Smart does something novel: He goes home.
“I’m about to drive my wife crazy because I’m at home more at night,” Smart said. “It’s always hustle and bustle in January, February, March, April. And now the routine’s changed all of a sudden, because I don’t go out recruiting, and it’s like you’ve gotta find something to do.”
Don’t worry, he does: Watching film of upcoming opponents, evaluating recruits, and trying to get on the phone with them. And apparently his wife Mary Beth isn’t too sick of him, because as Smart spoke on Monday night, before a fundraising event in Savannah, his wife was on the trip too.
Such trips are another adjustment to being a head coach. Two days later Smart was in Hoover, Ala., for a golf event for current and former SEC coaches.
He also gets to make his first appearance at SEC meetings, two weeks from now in Destin, Fla.
“I’m looking forward to learning from all the smart guys,” Smart said, smiling. “Sit back, listen and learn.”
The first five months of Smart’s tenure have had distractions: Five player arrests, debate over his transfer policy, etc. But football-wise the signs have been good, led by the successful G-Day and solid recruiting.
Smart, 40, was asked if he’s adjusted to the title of head coach, one he’s never had until now.
“I don’t think you ever adjust to that. I think it’s always moving, dodging,” he said. “I’m excited, obviously, about it, and on to the next stage, which is getting them ready for the summer. But every day you learn something new about this job.”