PHOENIX — Once again, Kirby Smart showed up at a media event with his voice raspy from overuse. But, overall, he’s says that’s a good thing.
“It’s more from yelling at practice,” said Georgia’s head coach, who is still doubling as Alabama’s defensive coordinator. “I’m always talking to you guys after that it seems like. I thought it was a lot better today.”
Saturday morning he wasn’t talking after a practice. He was talking to several hundred reporters in small groups one after another during the hour-long Media Day event at the Phoenix Convention Center in advance of the College Football Playoff championship. The reporters had gathered there from everywhere, national reporters from huge media conglomerates and writers from virtually every region of the country.
Three times during the session, Smart was pulled away to be interviewed either by ESPN on its live broadcast or to the guys from the SEC Network or on national digital radio with Rick Neuheisel on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation. All together, Smart was being heard Saturday on virtually every edge of North America.
That wouldn’t necessarily be happening had he told Alabama he needed to move on to concentrate full time on being Georgia’s new head coach.
So a little hoarseness? No problem.
“Talked out? No, not at all. I love you guys,” said Smart, who seems to be getting increasingly comfortable in front of banks of microphones. “This is fun for me. Glad I’m getting to do it.”
And other than limiting the discussion of unannounced hires at Georgia, Smart spoke freely at every stop about his impending assignment at Georgia. He was asked about handling both jobs and expectations he had once he got there.
“I’ve enjoyed the opportunity; I’ve relished the opportunity,” he said. “Every coach I know if you said ‘would you trade spots?,’ would say, ‘yeah, probably would.’ To be at the University of Georgia while also being at Alabama as the defensive coordinator, I think a lot of guys are wishing they were in that spot. So I’m happy to be in it.
So Smart is enjoying the attention and the Bulldogs should benefit from it as well.
“It’s been great,” Smart said. “But I’m ready to have one job.”