ATHENS — I recently had the pleasure of having an extended interview with Mary Beth Smart — the wife of new Georgia head coach Kirby Smart — in which I was able to glean a lot of background on the First Couple of UGA Football. You can read the full story produced from that account HERE.
But if you’re pressed for time and won’t have the opportunity this morning to read all 2,700 words, here are some bullet points in which you can get the gist of it:
- Kirby and Mary Beth Smart have three children, 7-year-old twins Julia and Weston and 3-year-old Andrew. The older kids have enrolled at Athens Academy.
- They’re living in temporary quarters at the moment. The father of one of Mary Beth’s college friends is letting them live in a four-bedroom, already-furnished condominium that otherwise is used only during the fall for football season. They intend to buy a home but haven’t yet.
- She was known as Mary Beth Lycett before she married Kirby and was an exceptional basketball player. In fact, she was named Miss Georgia Basketball her senior year at Morrow High and played for Andy Landers’ Lady Bulldogs from 1999-2003. She grew up wanting to play for Landers and the two remain close.
- Mary Beth struggled to get on the court her first two years at UGA, but then became a regular starter her junior and senior years. She remains listed among Georgia’s all-time leaders in 3-point shooting percentage, free throw percentage and minutes played.
- Mary Beth and Kirby did not attend UGA at the same time. She is is 5 1/2 years younger than him. They met when he returned to Georgia to work for Mark Richt as running backs coach in 2005. Mary Beth was working in the athletic association’s business office at the time and he had to call her to arrange his travel to Athens for the interview.
- Mary Beth and Kirby’s courtship was fast. They started dating in the summer of 2005, were married in Athens the summer of 2006 and she was pregnant with twins in 2007.
- Mary Beth lost her mother, Linda Lycett, to breast cancer three years ago. Linda Lycett was a teacher and taught English and gifted students in Clayton County. Her father, Paul Lycett, retired eight years ago from working in Georgia’s department of community affairs.
- Mary Beth continues to utilize her athletic gifts. She has earned a 5.0 USTA ranking playing team tennis in Tuscaloosa — something she plans to continue in Athens — and she ran Chicago Marathon this past October.
- While Kirby has been learning under a master in Nick Saban the last nine years, so has Mary Beth under Terry Saban, Nick’s wife. Mary Beth said she has been taking copious notes and saving emails from Terry Saban for the last several years.
- Mary Beth plans to assist Kirby in anyway she can with football, but maintains that their three children will remain her primary focus.