One of college football's favorite off-season diversions has arrived, as a lucky few coaches are invited to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Golf Challenge. The luckiest among that group got to speak with me.
In between the green and tee box, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart stopped off to answer a few questions from FootballScoopn on Monday afternoon.
FootballScoop: How'd your round go?
Smart: I wouldn't say it went well. It went. It was okay. We hit like 8-under which in a scramble is probably not very good.
FS: You had a front row seat to see how one of the most detail oriented head coaches in college football history handles the job. How much of your new job has played into your expectations, and how much has caught you by surprise?
Smart: Ninety percent of it is exactly what I expected. I was with Nick so long, 11 years, that when you're around someone so highly organized and highly demanding that it makes you a better coach and better prepares you for it. The biggest difference is just not being involved in the defense as I anticipated and trying to split time 50-50 with the offense and defense, manage that. That's probably the toughest.
FS: Would having to answer questions about mini-controversies like denying transfers to Miami, the change to Georgia's open records law or silly stuff like the $65,000 tab for a Ludacris concert fall into that 10 percent?
Smart: Not really. I'll be honest with you, you make your decision based on what's best for the organization and you go with that. Once you make them, you go with them. Some of those weren't actually my decisions. I'm not really worried about the pushback. I'm worried about what makes our team better, what makes our university better. Those are the important things to me.
FS: How is your staff going to approach texting recruits now that the governor has been taken off?
Smart: We're going to text. We're going to text a lot. It's something that, given the opportunity, I think you do. I think it's burdensome on the kids because they're the ones sitting in class getting an education and we're blowing their phone up. I certainly think that in this day and age, Generation Y, these kids enjoy texting. It's the way a lot of them communicate. It's easy for me because I'm a texter by trade anyway.
FS: How did the partnership with Michigan for a satellite camp this summer come about?
Smart: They were going to have a camp in Atlanta, a lot of people were going to have camps in Atlanta, and I figured we would join forces with a really good program and a really good coach, get to watch a bunch of really good players in our state and evaluate those guys and get to see them. I figured that was an advantage. We jumped all over the opportunity to get to do it with them.
FS: Finally, when you're 65 or 70 years old and retired from coaching, what's the one thing you'd like to be remembered for?
Smart: Players. Caring. And know that I cared. I want them to know that I made sacrifices in my family to spend time with them, to grow them as men and make them better people. If I could look back on my career and see all the lives I've affected, like my father, who's a coach -- I went to a banquet the other night for Andy Landers, 36 years as a coach and every player that he coached for four years graduated. A ton of them were there and spoke. It made me realize that this is why we do this. It was a pretty touching banquet.