When there is a head coaching vacancy across college football, especially in the southeast region of the country, the first name that comes up as a possible candidate to fill the vacancy is Alabama defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart, but the Crimson Tide assistant coach isn’t itching to be a head coach.
Smart has been with Alabama since 2007 and has coached under Nick Saban for all but one year since 2004, including stops at LSU and with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. He has been Alabama’s defensive coordinator since 2008 and has consistently fielded one of the nation’s elite units and developed a number of NFL players.
In addition to being one of the top assistants in college football, Smart is also an ace recruiter who has been a staple in the Crimson Tide assembling the No. 1 recruiting class nearly every year.
Sounds like a pretty good resume for a future head coach, doesn’t it?
Not if you ask Smart, and he was asked about his future during an interview with 680 The Fan in Atlanta on Monday.
“My family is so happy in Tuscaloosa,” Smart said via Coachingsearch. “My wife loves it. We’ve got six-year-old twins and a 2-year-old. We’ve been very fortunate. I moved seven times the first seven years I coached. The last eight, I’ve been in the same place. My kids only know one place. For us, that’s very comfortable.
“I could finish my career being a defensive coordinator and say, ‘Hey, he’s (former Florida State defensive coordinator) Mickey Andrews,’ and I’d be happy knowing that I had success doing it, and I was the best I could be at my job. But if the opportunity knocks, then so be it.”
Smart is scheduled to make $1.35 million after receiving a raise earlier this year and while he is content with his job and role with Alabama for now, he does mention that the future may change his outlook and says being a head coach is the ultimate goal.
“That’s what the whole end-all is,” he said. “Sure, if it’s the right place. There may be a time when I’m 45 or 50 and I get a little more antsy to do it. But at 38, I’m not sitting here saying, ‘I’ve got to go today’ and take one just to take it. There’s so many guys, I’ve seen careers and met these coaches, and every one of them says, ‘Don’t just jump at the first one, because if you get the wrong one, it could be the last one.”
Smart is in a prime position where he doesn’t need to jump at an offer to coach elsewhere as he can hitch his ride to the best coach in college football in Saban and continue to soak up knowledge from one of the best to ever do it and when Saban decided to retire, maybe Smart will be the successor and take over as the head coach at Alabama.
Now that would be a pretty good first head coaching job, wouldn’t it?