Georgia football coach Kirby Smart has a contract extension

The New York Times

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia has given contract extensions to football coach Kirby Smart and athletic director Josh Brooks, announcing both on Thursday afternoon, a message of alignment between the school and its powerful football program.
Smart received a two-year extension through Dec. 2033 and a $1.75 million raise.
“I continue to be grateful and humbled by our administration’s commitment to our football program,” Smart said.
This new contract is well deserved,” Brooks said.
Georgia is 94-16 under Smart, who turned 48 in December.
“Josh’s performance as athletic director has been outstanding, and we’re pleased with the direction of our athletic department,” Morehead said.
Georgia ranks 20th in the NCAA Director’s Cup through this year’s winter standings, but the school usually sees an uptick after the spring sports.
Georgia was 19th the previous year and 10th for the 2020-21 school year (Brooks took over halfway through that year).


Athens, Georgia. — Georgia has extended the contracts of football coach Kirby Smart and athletic director Josh Brooks. The announcements were made on Thursday afternoon, demonstrating the school’s support of its successful football program.

An extension of two years, through December, was granted to Smart. 2033 and a $1.75 million increase. A $1.55 million bonus is possible for him, on top of his $13 million annual salary.

Smart remarked, “Our administration’s dedication to our football program continues to make me feel grateful and humbled.”. “The collegiate athletics culture is changing and more demanding than ever, so I sincerely value the leadership our team consistently demonstrates. I am incredibly proud to have represented my alma mater, and I hope that we can keep up this relationship for a very long time. “.

Brooks announced Smart’s extension by highlighting his teams’ success and the 63 draft selections he had made in his first eight seasons.

“His leadership of our program has been outstanding, and I’m sure you will agree with me. Brooks remarked, “This new contract is well deserved.”.

After winning the national championship two years prior, Smart inked a 10-year contract in 2021 worth $112,5 million. At the time, this made Smart the highest-paid college football coach until Nick Saban of Alabama and Dabo Swinney of Clemson inked new contracts that marginally exceeded it.

Saban has retired, but Swinney will make $11.5 million this year, which is marginally more than what Smart’s prior contract stipulated. In the two years following the signing of Smart’s previous contract, Georgia went 13-1, lost in the SEC Championship Game, and missed the College Football Playoffs. Georgia also won a second consecutive national championship.

Smart, who became 48 in December, has Georgia at 94-16.

After receiving an additional year’s extension, Brooks, 43, signed a contract that will pay him $1,275,000 annually through 2030, with an annual increase of $100,000. For placing in the top 20 of the NCAA Director’s Cup standings and for general academic excellence, there are bonuses worth up to $200,000. His contract, which was changed the previous year, stipulated that he would make $1.25 million this year and an additional $100,000 over the following five years. That placed him between average and below average among SEC athletic directors.

While noting that the pay is commensurate with his experience, UGA president Jere Morehead stressed that Brooks would still be “well below most of his SEC peers.”.

Morehead remarked, “We’re happy with the direction our athletic department is going in and Josh’s performance as athletic director has been outstanding.”. Our student-athletes are doing exceptionally well in the classroom, our teams have had incredible success, and our fundraising has continued to surpass all expectations. “.

The contracts being paired together is noteworthy because Brooks has mainly been able to leave the football program alone, despite not hiring Smart. The majority of Brooks’ time has been devoted to making coaching decisions for other Georgia programs since he was promoted to athletic director in January 2021, succeeding Greg McGarity. Under Brooks, the coaches of 14 out of Georgia’s 19 varsity sports have switched.

The latest program to lose its dominance over the previous two years was gymnastics. After seven seasons, Courtney Kupets-Carter was fired by Brooks, who then hired Ryan Roberts and Cecile Canqueteau-Landi as co-coaches.

Wes Johnson, who was hired to take over for Scott Stricklin after the latter was fired after ten years, is in his first year leading the baseball program. After Tom Crean was fired by Brooks after four seasons as men’s basketball coach, Mike White took over, and this past season the Bulldogs made it to the NIT Final Four. After Joni Taylor departed women’s basketball two years ago to take a coaching position at Texas A&M, Katie Abrahamson-Henderson took over, and in just two seasons, she has gone 34–30.

Women’s soccer has experienced the most successful coaching transition under Brooks thus far. Keidane McAlpine took over as coach in 2021 after Billy Lesesne was fired after seven seasons. McAlpine guided the team to the 2023 SEC championship and the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Longtime coaches in softball (Lu Harris-Champer in 2021), men’s tennis (Manny Diaz this year), women’s tennis (Jeff Wallace in 2023), and swimming and diving (Jack Bauerle in 2022) also announced their retirements.

According to the winter standings this year, Georgia is ranked 20th in the NCAA Director’s Cup; however, the school typically experiences a boost following the spring sports.

In the NCAA Director’s Cup, an all-sports ranking, Georgia came in seventh place the previous year. Prior to Brooks taking over halfway through that year, Georgia ranked 19th, and for the 2020–21 school year, it ranked 10th.

Sam Navarro / USA Today provided the top image of Kirby Smart.

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