Kirby Smart Is Collecting Major Bonuses And A Likely Salary Increase

Kirby Smart Is Collecting Major Bonuses And A Likely Salary Increase

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Kirby Smart Is Collecting Major Bonuses And A Likely Salary Increase

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Kirby Smart collecting major bonuses plus a likely salary raise

Over the past decade, SEC programs have experienced a major arms race when it comes to football facilities. With the SEC Network filling school’s coffers, that arm race continues and has been joined by an unprecedented salary escalation for the conference’s head coaches.

Comparatively speaking, the $3.75 million base salary the University of Georgia paid Kirby Smart in 2017 was one of the best bargains in college football. Smart’s 2017 salary was the 23rd highest in the nation, well behind the recently fired coaches of Texas A&M, Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee. Including potential bonuses, Smart’s salary ranked 8th in the SEC. Winning a conference championship and earning a spot in the College Football Playoff gets one some nice Christmas presents and a positive year-end review.

Coach Smart has already collected $950,000 of a possible $1.8 million bonus. 2017 bonuses collected to date include:

  • SEC Championship, $400,000
  • College Football Playoff, $500,000
  • SEC Coach of the Year, $50,000

If Georgia wins the National Championship, he collects an additional $500,000 bonus, finishing in the Top 5 of the AP or Coaches’ Poll is worth a $200,000 bonus and if he is selected as the National Coach of the Year, Coach Smart will receive $100,000.

However, the big payoff should come at season’s end when Smart’s agent, Jimmy Sexton (he represents 11 of the 14 SEC head coaches), sits down with Georgia AD Greg McGarity. If there will ever be a one-sided negotiation, this is it. All Sexton has to do is pull out the list of his clients who recently signed SEC contracts and have McGarity “sign here, please.” Would you be surprised if Smart doesn’t at least get close to Sexton’s other clients?

  • Auburn’s Gus Malzahn signs a $7 million annual extension
  • Texas A&M to pay Jimbo Fisher $75 million over 10 years
  • Florida signs Dan Mullen to a $6 million annual deal
  • Tennessee pays first-time head coach Jeremy Pruitt $3.8 million

Winning an SEC Championship for the first time in 12 years for your alma mater as a second-year head coach goes a long way. In addition, bringing stability to the program (10 of the SEC coaches are in their 2nd year or less at their respective school) builds upon the results of the past two seasons. If Georgia advances to the National Championship, Smart will face either Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, who has seen significant raises to $6.75 million annually, or Alabama’s Nick Saban and his annual gold standard salary of $11.1 million. My guess is Smart will ink a deal close to Swinney’s compensation.

Either way, at the end of the season, Coach Smart should send Gus Malzahn an extra large gift basket for two significant moments — signing that $7 million annual contract with Auburn last week and letting the world know, “We whipped the dog crap out of them, didn’t we?” after the Tigers’ 40-17 regular season win.

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