Georgia coach Kirby Smart speaks with the media on the first day of spring practice in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

News Joshua L Jones

Georgia coach Kirby Smith nearly resigned 13 months ago

Georgia coach Kirby Smart said he nearly resigned 13 months ago due to the challenges of finding a healthy work/life balance.

Speaking Tuesday at the Texas High School Coaches Association convention in San Antonio, Smart said the non-stop recruiting workload during the COVID-19 pandemic pushed him to the brink.

“I told the staff, ‘We’re going to take every Monday off, because we’re working every Friday, Saturday, Sunday,’” Smart said. “So last June — the coming out of COVID June — I was ready to step down and resign. I was done. I was done.”

Seven months later, Georgia beat Alabama 33-18 in the College Football Playoff title game for the Bulldogs’ first national title since the 1980 season.

Smart, 46, revealed how close he came to offering his resignation after being asked if a healthy work/life balance even exists in college football.

“No,” Smart said, according to The Athletic. “I have tried hard to take the calendar — and I take my staff, my most tenured coaches, whether it’s Dell McGee, Glenn Schumann — and I say, ‘Hey guys, I want y’all to come work together, to look at this calendar for the coaches, the work schedule and I want you to give me some ideas of where we can steal some time (off). First off, familiars are always welcome at our office, they can come to our practices. I got coaches’ kids who come out to the practice and do the drills with the coach because I’m like, ‘You won’t get to be around your son otherwise.’

“So if he wants to come to practice, he can come to practice any time he wants. He can be a part of anything as long as he’s not in the way or a distraction. I want our families, I want our wives to bring their kids out there at the end of practice. Because our players need to see that.”

Smart said college football is losing good coaches to the NFL because they can spend a lot more time off with their families.

–Field Level Media