On Wednesday we forecasted that the coming raise for Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, if market precedent was followed, would be in the range of seven years and $50 million.
Turns out we were a million bucks off.
The third-year Georgia coach has signed a new contract worth $49 million over seven years. The contract is identical to the one Auburn gave Gus Malzahn in December after Arkansas made a run at Malzahn to be Bret Bielema's replacement.
"I’d like to first thank President Morehead and Greg McGarity for allowing me to lead this program," Smart said in a statement. “I’m humbled by the faith they’ve placed in me and won’t ever take that for granted. I’d also like to thank our staff and our entire football family. Without their hard work and dedication we wouldn’t have been able to have the kind of success we’ve had in such a short period of time.
"As a young boy, I grew up in this great state dreaming of being a Bulldog,” he continued. "To have been able to do that—first as a player, and now as the head football coach—is beyond anything I ever dreamed. I do not take lightly the awesome responsibility of leading this program, and while I’m pleased with where we are as a program, I couldn’t be more excited about where we’re going in the future. You can rest assured that we will continue to work tirelessly to make Georgia football the best it can possibly be."
The $7 million salary nearly doubles the $3.75 million salary Smart earned on his original contract. It means Georgia will pay $13 million to employ Smart and his 10-man on-the-field staff in 2018 alone.
Smart becomes the fourth SEC head coach to earn in the $7 million range, joining Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher and Malzahn. Dabo Swinney, Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh are the only non-SEC coaches to outpace Smart's new salary.
Smart is 21-7 in his two years in Athens, leading the Bulldogs to the 2017 SEC championship and an appearance in the CFP National Championship.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.