Will Muschamp Talks Friendship With Kirby Smart, Recalls Old Pick-Up Basketball Games

Will Muschamp Talks Friendship With Kirby Smart, Recalls Old Pick-Up Basketball Games

Football

Will Muschamp Talks Friendship With Kirby Smart, Recalls Old Pick-Up Basketball Games


Valdosta State may not be the most prestigious college football program, but the Division II powerhouse seems to be a launching pad for renowned coaches around the FBS.

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp and Georgia coach Kirby Smart previously spent time together as teammates in Athens and coaches at Valdosta State and LSU.

The Gamecocks’ head man provided a young Kirby Smart with key leadership skills in their lone season as Bulldog teammates. Muschamp later hired Smart as a defensive backs coach for Valdosta State, where the two extended a previous friendship.

Now, as both coaches enter their third seasons as head coaches of two top SEC programs, they can only reflect on where they have come from.

Sunday, during the media teleconference, the Gamecocks coach shared a funny ritual he and Smart had while at Valdosta State.

According to Muschamp, the two coaches played pickup basketball while in Valdosta, saying “I beat him about every time,” referring to coach Kirby Smart.

“We went out and played three-on-three,” Muschamp said. “It was a bloodbath about every day.”

The two coaches formed a longtime bond in Athens and Valdosta, but that friendship turns into a rivalry on the recruiting trail and the football field today.

In 2016, after Smart had just completed his first spring practice with his new team at Georgia, he shed some light on the friendship between he and Muschamp.

“He’s a very trustworthy friend when it comes to information,” Smart said during the SEC post-spring practice teleconference in 2016. “It’s not competitive information. We don’t talk about recruiting as much as we talk about how we’re doing something.”

Both coaches have a genuine amount of respect for one another, however, there is little time to recount on past experiences and friendliness, as a massive matchup looms Saturday.

“He’s a really good coach,” Smart said of Muschamp in 2016.

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