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When Kirby Smart returned to his alma mater in 2016, hopes were high that he could take Georgia football to that elusive next level. Smart wasted no time putting his mark on the Bulldogs, however, making an immediate impact on recruiting and in 2017, reaching the College Football Playoff and coming within moments of a national championship. Biding his time and crafting his philosophy as a defensive coordinator under Nick Saban, Smart waited for his opportunity to return to Georgia, turning down several coaching opportunities in the meantime. Still early in his tenure, Smart has gone on to dominate recruiting on a national scale, win the SEC, reach the national championship game, and will be attacking the college football landscape for years to come.
About the Author
Seth Emerson is a staff writer for The Athletic Atlanta, covering Georgia football and athletics. He has written previously for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Albany Herald.