Georgia Bulldogs sign Kirby Smart to seven-year, $49 million deal

By The Sports Xchange  |  May 3, 2018 at 7:08 PM
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Georgia won a Southeastern Conference title and nearly won a national championship this past season under coach Kirby Smart, and he was rewarded with a lucrative new contract.

Smart will make an average of $7 million per year after Georgia announced that the UGA Athletic Association approved a seven-year, $49 million contract.

That represents a $3.25 million per year raise and a three-year extension for Smart, who has been the Bulldogs' head coach for three seasons.

"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.

"I'd like to first thank President Morehead and Greg McGarity for allowing me to lead this program," added Smart. "I'm humbled by the faith they've placed in me and won't ever take that for granted. I'd also like to thank our staff and our entire football family. Without their hard work and dedication we wouldn't have been able to have the kind of success we've had in such a short period of time."

Smart is 21-7 overall at Georgia since taking over prior to the 2016 season. The Bulldogs got to the national title game this past season, but lost to Alabama 26-23.

Smart becomes the sixth member of the $7 million-plus club in college football. He joins former boss Nick Saban at Alabama, as well as Ohio State's Urban Meyer, Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher and Auburn's Gus Malzahn as members of that group.

Saban is the nation's highest-paid coach, and Smart is now tied with Malzahn as the third-highest paid coach in the SEC based on average annual salary.

The announcement of Smart's new deal comes on the same day that his predecessor at Georgia, Mark Richt, received a new contract from his own alma mater at Miami.

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