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Kirby Smart: "I was ready to step down and resign. I was done."

About 13 months ago, before their national title run in January, Kirby Smart shares he was ready to hang up his whistle.

Since capturing the national title back in January against his mentor Nick Saban, Kirby Smart has been on top of the college football world with eyes on bringing back-to-back trophies back to Athens.

However, just thirteen months ago, as the NCAA lifted the recruiting dead period, Smart shared with a crowd of Texas high school coaches today that he was more than simply worn down.

A Lone Star high school coach asked Smart earlier today at THSCA Coaching School if a healthy work / life balance exists in college football.

Kirby's responded with a simple, emphatic "No."

Between the recruiting calendar, the season, and making sure you're evolving and adapting schemes to fit your roster, my guess is you'd hear the same answer from most coaches around college football. At Georgia, Smart has been very intentional in creating a family environment where the kids and wives of coaches are always allowed around the office and at practice. 

The COVID recruiting dead period was a strange time for everyone. Campus visits were not allowed and coaches didn't hit the road to recruit for over a year.

When those restrictions were lifted by the NCAA in June of 2021, Smart shared today that UGA hosted players every single day from June 1st through the 28th.

"I was ready to step down and resign," Smart shared. 

"I was done."

To combat that this year, Smart scheduled every Monday in June as an off day for his staff so everyone could recharge. 

Smart also asked his coaches not to come in on Friday mornings, and come in during the afternoons so they could focus their energy on recruits Friday nights.

It may seem like a small thing, but Kirby says the tweaks certainly helped.

When you're the program with the target on your back as the defending champs, there's a fine balance between getting the required work in and keeping everyone fresh while also battling complacency.

Kirby's message about the calendar for coaches is not the first time someone has tried to shine a light on the issue, and it certainly won't be the last. Question is if the NCAA is listening and is willing to adapt the calendar, starting with recruiting.