Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With Kirby Smart, UGA has a chance to win really big


I pretty much told you this would happen , and esteemed colleague Chip Towers is reporting that it will: Kirby Smart will be named Georgia's coach . I like the move. I like it a lot.

To reiterate: Smart isn't Ray Goff, who was hired as Georgia's coach only because he was an alum. Smart would be a good hire if he held a degree from, oh, the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has done great work at the highest level of college football. He's a smart (pun intended) guy who has been on many school's want lists. He's about to come coach Georgia.

Does it bother me that Smart hasn't been a head coach? A little, but only a little. Vince Dooley was a career assistant and became the best coach in Georgia annals. Mark Richt was a career assistant and became the second-best coach in Georgia annals.

Does it bother me that Smart has coached defense? Not even a little. The four best coaches, college or pro, are Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick. Three were defensive guys.

And here we must -- or at least we should -- give credit to Greg McGarity. The athletic director has become everyone's punching bag, but say this for the man: Knowing he'd become a punching bag, he made a difficult call on Richt, and clearly he had Step 2 in mind all along. He wanted Kirby Smart, and it appears he's going to get him.

Much more on this later, but I'll close for now by saying: If you're a Georgia fan, you should like this move. Maybe you hated seeing Richt fired, but you should be happy with his presumptive replacement. This coach has a real chance to win really big.


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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.