Kirby Smart gets new 7-year, $49M deal from Georgia

ATHENS, Georgia -- Georgia's Kirby Smart, who last season guided the Bulldogs to their first SEC title since 2005 and an appearance in the College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T, will receive a new seven-year, $49 million contract.

The new deal, which will extend Smart through the 2024 season, was approved by the executive committee of the UGA Athletic Association on Thursday.

"Kirby has provided an incredible level of energy and excitement to our football program, and we look forward to his leadership for many years to come," athletic director Greg McGarity said in a statement.

In his second season as a head coach, Smart guided the Bulldogs to a 13-2 record, which included a 26-23 loss to Alabama in overtime in the CFP National Championship.

Smart, 42, thanked McGarity and school president Jere Morehead.

"As a young boy, I grew up in this great state dreaming of being a Bulldog," Smart said. "To have been able to do that -- first as a player, and now as the head football coach -- is beyond anything I ever dreamed. I do not take lightly the awesome responsibility of leading this program, and while I'm pleased with where we are as a program, I couldn't be more excited about where we're going in the future. You can rest assured that we will continue to work tirelessly to make Georgia football the best it can possibly be."

Smart will become the fifth-highest-paid coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision based on average annual salary through the length of his contract, according to industry sources and publicly available contracts.

Ohio State's Urban Meyer ($8.49 million) is the highest-paid coach in the FBS in terms of average annual salary, followed by Alabama's Nick Saban ($8.28 million), Michigan's Jim Harbaugh ($7.73 million) and Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher ($7.5 million).

Smart's contract matches the seven-year, $49 million contract Auburn's Gus Malzahn signed in December, which is fifth highest among FBS coaches.

Smart will be paid more than Clemson's Dabo Swinney ($6.75 million), Florida's Dan Mullen ($6 million), Stanford's David Shaw ($6 million) and Texas' Tom Herman ($5.95 million).

Georgia officials nearly doubled Smart's compensation from a year ago, when he made $3.75 million, which ranked near the middle of the pack in the SEC. Smart earned $1.3 million in bonuses last year for leading UGA to an SEC title ($400,000), CFP National Championship Game appearance ($600,000), top-five finish in the polls ($200,000) and being named National Coach of the Year by the Maxwell Club of Philadelphia ($100,000).

The bonuses and buyout figures of his new deal weren't immediately available.

Smart, a defensive back at Georgia from 1995 to 1999, has a 21-7 record in two seasons at his alma mater. Before the Bulldogs hired him to replace the fired Mark Richt before the 2016 season, Smart spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at Alabama, the last eight as Saban's defensive coordinator.

After guiding the Bulldogs to their first appearance in the CFP last season, which included a 54-48 victory in two overtimes over Oklahoma in a CFP semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual, Smart helped the Bulldogs land the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, according to ESPN Recruiting.

The Bulldogs must replace star tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel and much of their defense this coming season, but they're still expected to be an overwhelming preseason choice to win the SEC East.