Kirby Smart waiting on 'right' opportunity

NEW ORLEANS -- Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was tagged a long time ago as the next assistant coach in the SEC destined for a big-time head-coaching job.

It hasn’t happened yet, which is sweet music to the ears of Alabama fans, who don't want to lose him.

But it’s bound to happen, even though Smart said Friday he’s content to wait for the “right” head-coaching job to come along and isn’t worried about when that time will come.

In other words, he doesn’t see it as striking when his iron is hot as Monday’s Allstate BCS National Championship Game approaches.

“I think your iron will be hot as long as you win and play well, whether it’s with coach (Nick) Saban or anybody else,” said Smart, who just turned 36. “The ultimate deal is: Are you winning and are you successful? The guys who’ve done that have had opportunities.

“The only thing that matters with my kids are them graduating and playing well, and I try to do my dangedest to get them to play well. How do you play well? You practice well. You prepare well. You motivate them every day. You give them some change-ups, and that’s what we try to do. If that makes your iron hot, then I’m all for it.

“Again, all I’m worried about is being successful where I’m at. If you stay where you’re at and don’t get caught up in all that other stuff, good things will happen to you.”

Smart said Friday that he was never contacted by Texas A&M officials last month. There was interest from both Ole Miss and Southern Miss, but Smart didn’t feel like either situation was right.

“I’m looking for the right opportunity,” said Smart, who earns $850,000 as the Tide’s defensive coordinator. “The right opportunity didn’t present itself.”

Smart also dismissed the notion that he was the heir apparent at Alabama and simply waiting for Saban to retire.

“First of all, I don’t believe in the coach-in-waiting thing,” Smart said. “I don’t think that works. I don’t think it’s worked anywhere somebody’s done it, and it’s not something I even worry about, to be honest with you.

“I just want to play good defense and win. If you do that, your opportunity will come.”