The Coach That Should Be On Top Of Every Athletic Director’s List
Every year, November marks a time where we’re about to embark on the post-season, but it also signifies the college football season coming to an end for a lot programs who failed to gain entry into a bowl. This is also the time of year when teams decide to move on from the current head man in charge and look towards a new path. While we know of seven programs who have already made the move and begun the search for a new head coach, we are also speculating to the possible job openings come January and beyond.
Of the seven teams without a head coach, three have interim head coaches, the most attractive is the Arkansas Razorbacks, followed by the Tennessee Volunteers. The question will come for each job: can any coach come in and put Arkansas and Tennessee at the top of the SEC? Some teams are so desperate to build a winning program that Bobby Petrino‘s name has come up in the rumor mill, but don’t bother with bringing in a coach that has the extra baggage so to speak; all you need is Kirby Smart.
The name should sound familiar to a lot of people, as he has been the man behind the Alabama Crimson Tide defense for the last six seasons. Smart has help guide the Tide to two national championships in four years. Last year he coached five players to All-American performances and he has had six players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft in the last three years. There has been a lot of talent at his disposal, but he has been able maximize the abilities of each player and progress them to the level needed to dominate the SEC.
Smart was recently awarded the American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year. It’s not just the performance of his defense on the field, which ranks second nationally in total defense and first in scoring defense, it’s his off field participation in various fundraising activities.
According to Chris Low of ESPN, he participates in Nick’s Kids, an organization in which head coach Nick Saban and his wife Terry have raised more than $2 million for area youth charities over the past five years. Smart participated in tornado relief efforts after the devastating storms in April of 2011. He helped set up a fund to help the son-in-law and grandchildren of former Alabama coach Joe Kines following a car accident that killed Kines’ daughter.
Any team would want their head coach to be involved in the community, not to mention Smart is the kind of man parents would feel comfortable sending their kids to play for. He has morals and appears to be a man with a heart, something you can’t say about every coach. He has displayed loyalty to the Alabama program, which will come in handy to sell stability to players and a fan base.
The message he could send to a team is simple. He is a former player, the fourth all-time leader in interceptions for the Georgia Bulldogs. He was also a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, so he can pass on the importance of an education as well. You can always look at his track record on the Bama coaching staff where in his time he has kept the Tide in the top five nationally in total and scoring defense the last few years.
Kirby Smart is a coach that can emphasize what it means to be the best athlete a player can be on the field and the best student that needs to put studies first. He is a man of the community and can run a program on good morals. He would be a great image for any university beyond the football field. So, who’s ready to make an offer?
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