Kirby Smart contract: Georgia boss to become college football's highest-paid coach ahead of 2024 season


Georgia’s Kirby Smart will become the highest-paid coach in college football during the 2024 season after the university’s athletics board authorized an extension for the two-time national championship-winning coach, 247Sports confirmed. Smart’s revamped deal will run through 2033 and pay him an average of $13 million per year.

Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks also received an extension and raise on Thursday.

The 48-year-old Smart is entering his ninth year leading his alma mater and has amassed a 94-16 mark, highlighted by a 42-2 run over the past three seasons. Despite UGA’s recent dominance, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney each made more than Smart last season, according to USA TODAY’s database of coaching salaries.

Smart slotted No. 2 in the 2023 CBS Sports Power Five coach rankings behind only Saban, who employed Smart as Alabama’s defensive coordinator from 2008-15. With Saban now retired and national-title winning Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh departed for the NFL, Smart’s status as college football’s preeminent coaching force is clear.

UGA won the 2021 and 2022 national titles under Smart, and he has continued to churn out NFL Draft picks in droves. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in Dennis Dodd’s pre-spring top 25 as they enter the 2024 season on the heels of three straight unbeaten runs through regular-season SEC play. 

The Bulldogs open the 2024 season on Aug. 31 with a neutral-site showdown against Clemson inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. After a relatively light 2023 schedule, the ‘Dawgs face a challenge in the season ahead. Among them are road games against Alabama, Texas and Ole Miss. All three are among the top-six teams in Dodd’s pre-spring rankings.

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