Kirby Smart Named Collegiate Coach of the Year

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Kirby Smart Named Collegiate Coach of the Year

Kirby Smart celebrates the SEC Championship with his Bulldogs
Kirby Smart celebrates the SEC Championship with his Bulldogs


The Maxwell Football Club today announced that University of Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart has been selected as the George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award winner for the 2017 season. In his second season with the Bulldogs, Smart led the team to a 13-2 record and a No. 3 ranking in the final College Football Playoff poll. 

With a 28-7 win over Auburn on Dec. 2 in Atlanta, Smart led Georgia to its first SEC championship since 2005. The Bulldogs became the first SEC East team to win the conference since Florida in 2008. While most of Georgia’s wins were in blowout fashion, Smart’s team squeaked out a 20-19 win over Notre Dame in the second week of the season. Following Georgia’s one loss, 40-17 at Auburn, Smart coached his team to three consecutive wins, including the rematch victory over the Tigers. Georgia squared off against No. 2 Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, which was the semifinal round of the playoffs, and defeated the Sooners 54-48 in double overtime. The game was Georgia’s first appearance in the Rose Bowl in the last 75 years. The Bulldogs’ season culminated in the National Championship Game, where they fell to Alabama in a 26-23 overtime thriller.

Smart served on the Alabama staff from 2007-15, the last seven as defensive coordinator. During his tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide won three BCS National Championships, one College Football Playoff national title, three Southeastern Conference crowns, six SEC West division titles, and was ranked in the nation’s final top ten the last eight years in a row.

A former standout defensive back and scholar-athlete at Georgia, Smart was one of the nation’s most respected defensive coordinators. During his time at Alabama, he coached players at three different positions, in addition to his coordinating duties. He was recognized as the 2012 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2009 Broyles Award winner as college football’s top assistant coach. He was also a finalist for the 2015 Broyles Award.

Prior to joining the Alabama staff in 2007, Smart spent the 2006 season as safeties coach with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. He served six years on the collegiate level as the running backs coach at Georgia (2005), defensive backs coach at LSU (2004), graduate assistant at Florida State (2002-03), defensive coordinator/linebackers coach (2001) and defensive backs coach (2000) at Valdosta State, and administrative assistant at UGA (1999).

Maxwell Football Club Executive Director Mark Wolpert commented, “Coach Smart has engineered a tremendous season for the University of Georgia football program. The team’s 13-2 record is a great testament to the hard work of Coach and his staff, and also to the dedication shown by the student-athletes involved in the program. Winning the SEC Championship and taking eventual national champion Alabama into overtime in one of the most exciting games in memory are just amazing accomplishments for everyone associated with the Georgia football program.”

Smart will be honored Friday, March 9, 2018 at the 81st Maxwell Club National Awards Gala which will be held at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. Also receiving awards at this event will be; Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles (Bert Bell Award), Doug Pederson – Philadelphia Eagles (Greasy Neale Coach of the Year Award), Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma (Maxwell Award), Minkah Fitzpatrick – Alabama (Chuck Bednarik Award), Duke Greco – Delaware Valley University (Tri-State Coach of the Year Award), Justin Watson – University of Pennsylvania (The Brian Westbrook Tri-State Player of the Year Award), Bill Clark – UAB (The Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award), Bobby Bowden – Florida State University (The Francis Reds Bagnell Award for Contributions to Football) and Shaquem Griffin – University of Central Florida (Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion).

Tickets for the Maxwell Football Club National Awards Gala are available for purchase on the Club’s website or by calling 215-643-3833.

Questions concerning any of the Maxwell Football Club’s awards or programs can be directed to MFC Executive Director Mark Wolpert at

About the Maxwell Football Club

The Maxwell Football Club (MFC) was founded in 1935 and is a registered 501c3 Non-Profit Corporation. The MFC promotes and recognizes excellence at all levels of football from youth leagues through the professional ranks. Each year the MFC offers programs which focus on player and coach development, safety, and player wellness. The Club also presents many of the premiere awards in the football world each year. Membership is open and additional information on the Club can be found at

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.