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Kirby Smart to be Georgia's next head coach

Kirby Smart

Kirby Smart will be the next head coach at Georgia, sources told FootballScoop Tuesday. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reported the news Tuesday evening.

In replacing 15-year Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt, Smart and Georgia complete a badly-kept secret that seemingly persisted those 15 years - that Smart was waiting for his alma mater to open to finally leap from his perch at Nick Saban's right-hand man.

Georgia's hiring of Smart means former Saban assistants will hold head jobs at Georgia, Florida and Florida State.

With the move, Jeremy Pruitt is a strong candidate to replace Smart at Alabama, while we're told Smart's preferred choice of defensive coordinator would also upset the apple cart in the SEC.

FootballScoop is also told Smart is expected to retain linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer, running backs coach Thomas Brown and wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon.

Smart's long-awaited departure could be the first of a domino effect creating major holes on Saban's staff in Tuscaloosa.

Unlike, say, Jim McElwain leaving Tuscaloosa for Colorado State, Smart jumps into a first-time head coaching position where expectations could not be higher. Georgia fired a coach with 145 wins in 15 years and 19 in the last two for a first-time head coach -- not only that, but making him their only serious target -- to do what Richt could not: win SEC and national championships. Anything short of that and Richt, put simply, was fired in vain.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.