As coaches hit the speaking circuit before spring ball, the object is often to win over those in attendance. That approach has a tendency to lead to some rather interesting stories.
One of those such stories came from Georgia's Kirby Smart, who shared a story about his first interview for a full-time coaching position at Valdosta State (D-II) back in 2000, where Chris Hatcher (now the head coach at Samford) was serving as head coach, and Will Muschamp was his defensive coordinator.
Smart had just been cut from the Indianapolis Colts, and had joined the Georgia staff as a graduate assistant when the opportunity to interview for the defensive backs job on Hatcher's staff came about.
"I was a graduate assistant at Georgia making nothing but, basically, a stipend. They came in to interview me, and I was nervous, you can imagine being nervous for your first interview. Of course Will is sitting back there like he knows everything and he's only been coaching three or four years ahead of me, but he's sitting back there and he tells me to draw up the base defense at Georgia."
"Well I didn't get to draw up the defense that I knew from playing under [?], I had to draw up the defense that the coordinator at the time had, which was Kevin Ramsey, and obviously I didn't know it real well."
"So when I drew it up there, THEY CLAIM I had 12 men on the field," Smart explains as the crowd cracks up with laughter. "But the truth is I had ten men on the field. So they kept laughing and giggling and I couldn't figure out what they thought was so funny, and then finally one of them said, 'You don't have enough people up there. We're allowed to play with 11 here in college football."
Regardless of the blunder, Smart landed the job working with Hatcher and Muschamp, and when Will left for the LSU defensive backs job following the 2000 season, Smart was promoted to defensive coordinator at Valdosta State.
Drawing 12 men on the field probably would have been worse than forgetting one, but this story can serve as a great lesson for guys out there that have slipped up at some point during their interview. As we can see now in hindsight, Smart's career trajectory certainly wasn't hurt by it, and Hatcher and Muschamp could see through it to the type of coach and person Smart was.