Kirby Smart gets well-deserved raise and contract extension from Georgia

While still only a few years into the 10-year contract he signed in 2021, Kirby Smart was due for a raise after another national title and a 13-1 season. The job of a college football head coach isn't getting any easier, so the price of the good ones is only going to go up.
Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart
Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

His contract wasn’t nearing its end, but the Georgia administration wanted to make sure that Kirby Smart was staying put in Athens as long as possible. On Thursday, Georgia awarded Smart with a two-year contract extension through December 2033 which included a $1.75 million raise. 

Smart will now make $13 million a year as the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia’s athletic director Josh Brooks also received a one-year extension to his contract which now extends through 2030. Brooks’s deal included a raise as well. 

While the school’s athletic director is important, Smart is the man that Georgia can’t afford to lose and now won’t for nearly another decade. He first signed this contract after the 2021 National Championship, his first of two, and at the time he was the highest-paid coach in college football. His yearly salary had since been passed by Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban, but Smart is back on top. 

In the years since signing the original contract, Smart has continued to dominate the sport, with another national title and last year a 13-1 campaign that culminated in a 63-3 Orange Bowl win over Florida State. Saban has since retired and Swinney, over that time, has gone 20-7 with a 4-4 record in ACC play last season. 

Even in the short time since Smart last re-upped with Georgia, the job of a college football head coach has changed drastically. In the offseason, they’re now more akin to an NFL general manager, negotiating contracts but doing it in a free market. 

Despite the added responsibility of recruiting your own players, the transfer portal, and still high school athletes, Smart has continued to dominate, bringing in the No. 1 high school class in 2024 while retaining more than enough talent to be considered the favorites in the SEC. 

When other coaches have complained about the changing circumstances, they are often met with a common refrain, “That’s what the money is for.” Well, that’s true and in that case, the best coach in college football deserved to make a little bit more.

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