Georgia football leads the SEC in support staff spending

Georgia football-Georgia Bulldogs-Kirby Smart-SEC Recruiting
In-game decisions and weekly strategy are one thing, but it’s in the area player relations and program operation that Kirby Smart has excelled in his first season as Georgia’s head coach. CURTIS COMPTON / AJC

Welcome to your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Today, we look at the increasing importance of the get-back coach and Georgia’s increasing spending on support staffers.

Georgia football is well-supported

It’s unquestionable that coach Kirby Smart has used Alabama as the model for how he hopes to make over the Georgia football program, both in how he runs it on and off the field. And one of the most apparent examples of this is the steep increase in spending on support staffers, a direct move out of the playbook invented by Nick Saban and used to extraordinary success, then copied by most of college football’s best programs.

Mark Richt never got on the support staff train during his tenure at Georgia — or was never given the resources to do so, depending on your perspective —  until the tail end of his Georgia stay. So, Smart immediately remedied that when he came on in 2016, significantly increasing the size of the support staff in his first few months as coach.

Fast-forward to the here and now, when the program has one of the most robust support staffs in college football. Georgia now leads the country in support staffing with 33 employees, according to a CBS Sports survey. Of course, hiring that many staffers takes a whole lot of money, the most in the SEC, according to reporting done by The Advocate.

In fact, Georgia spent more than $4.4 million on its football support staff in the 2015-16 academic year, according to documents obtained from The Advocate. The Bulldogs easily led the league in support staff pay, about $1.5 million more than the second-highest program: Alabama.

Georgia may not be an elite program yet, but at least this facet of building is such that the Bulldogs are no longer keeping up with the Joneses. They are the Joneses.

‘Get back to where you once belonged’

Smart’s leash is getting a little shorter. With SEC officials planning to crack down on coaches coming onto the field to argue with refs this season, strength and conditioning/get-back coach Scott Sinclair’s job on game day just became a lot more important. From Seth Emerson of DawgNation:

“Well, certainly all us coaches have gotten our assignments. Our coaches are going to hang on to us and make sure we don’t go across that line,” Smart said, adding: “You’d hate to see a game decided by something like that. But it’s the rule. We’ve been briefed on it, and we all got to adhere to it.”

Expect to see this sight a lot more in 2017:

Question: Have you ever seen anything cuter than this?

Answer: No.

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