Georgia approves new contract for Kirby Smart; Smart becomes college football’s highest paid coach

Kirby Smart

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is staying in Athens for quite a while.

On Tuesday the Georgia Athletics Board announced it approved a contract extension for Smart making him “the highest paid coach in college football” after increasing his salary to $13 million a year. It will keep Smart with the Bulldogs two additional years through 2033.

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“I want to thank President (Jere W.) Morehead, Josh Brooks and the Board of Directors for extending my contract at the University of Georgia,” Smart stated in a release. “I continue to be grateful and humbled by our administration’s commitment to our football program. The current culture in collegiate athletics is everchanging and as challenging as it has ever been, so I truly appreciate the leadership that our team is continually provided. I have an immense pride for representing my alma mater and look forward to that relationship continuing for many years to come.”

According to a release, Smart will receive “an average increase of $1.75 million annually,” and “his maximum amount of bonuses per year will go from $1.3 million to $1.55 million” based on the new 12-team College Football Playoff format.

According to Chris Low of ESPN, Smart’s extension is part of a 10-year, $130 million contract. Smart’s salary increases from $10.75 million.

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Smart now holds the title of top paid coach in college football, and he just might be considered the most decorated coach in the sport.

Former Alabama head coach Nick Saban retired this offseason, meaning Smart is the Southeastern Conference’s winningest coach with a 94-16 record. Smart led Georgia to back-to-back CFP National Championships in 2021-22, becoming the first team to do so since the Crimson Tide in 2011-12.

Smart and the Bulldogs just missed returning to the CFP last season for a chance at a three-peat defending their national titles. They went 13-1 in 2023 falling to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game and sliding to No. 6 in the CFP rankings before beating No. 5 Florida State 63-3 in the Orange Bowl.

Smart’s senior class last year departed the program with a 50-4 career record, which set a new school record.

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The Georgia Athletics Board also announced it approved a one-year extension for Brooks, the school’s athletics director. Morehead stated Brooks “has done a terrific job” and “positioned UGA Athletics to thrive in a rapidly changing college sports landscape.”

Brooks will see his salary increase to $1,275,000, and he’ll remain at Georgia through 2030 according to a release.

“I am extremely grateful for the trust placed in me by President Morehead and the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors,” Brooks stated in a release. “Serving in this role and working alongside our outstanding student-athletes, coaches and staff is truly the privilege of a lifetime. I also want to thank President Morehead and the Board of Directors for Coach Smart’s well-deserved contract extension. His success in the first eight years leading our football program is unmatched, and his generosity and leadership as part of our university community has made a lasting impact.”