“Nick Saban says Kirby Smart would make ‘an outstanding head coach’ “
“I’ve said many times before in years past that Kirby has done a fantastic job for us and I think he’ll be an outstanding head coach” he said. “I don’t think everything you do as an assistant necessarily prepares you as a head coach but I also think by the same token that Kirby is very capable of doing all the things necessary to be a head coach. He’s a good teacher players respond to him well. He’s outgoing. He’s got a good personality. I think he’ll do a good job in all the other areas that you’re talking about. I don’t have any question about that at all.”
“Georgia’s an outstanding institution, it’s great academically,” Saban said. “They’ve got great tradition there. They’ve won a lot of games. We have a tremendous of respect for the program that they have. They’re 9-3 this year, which a lot of teams would like to be. I think it is a really good place to coach and I think you have an opportunity to win there if you’re the coach there.”
“Georgia and Kirby Smart have been linked to defensive coordinator openings in the past.
Now that the school will be hiring a head coach, the Alabama defensive coordinator is a natural as a top candidate to replace Mark Richt.
So on the same day Richt was fired, Alabama coach Nick Saban fielded questions on a Sunday evening SEC championship teleconference about Smart.
Saban, preparing his team to play Florida Saturday in Atlanta, says he hasn’t gotten any “feelers” from other schools interested in talking to Smart.
“I think everybody sort of respects where we are and what we’re doing,” said Saban, who said he has no policies on when assistants interview but it is done on an individual basis. “I think that’s probably the reason that we haven’t. I would expect those things to happen when we get finished playing.”
Saban said Smart has had “opportunities in the past. I think you need to ask Kirby about that.”
Smart and the other Alabama assistant coaches are typically off limits to speak to reporters.
Smart is a leading candidate for the South Carolina opening, according to ESPN.com, but Georgia is where Smart played defensive back from 1995-98 and coached running backs in 2005 under Richt.
Smart is in his eighth season as Alabama’s defensive coordinator and ninth on staff under Saban, where they have won three national titles together.”
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