Kirby Smart’s $112.5M UGA Contract Contains Massive Guarantees

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Fans should expect Kirby Smart to be walking the sideline for Georgia for a long time to come.

That’s not a surprise, given that he recently signed an extended deal that puts him under contract to UGA through 2031. But details released Thursday reveal how expensive it would be for the school to make a coaching change if it ever were inclined to do so.

The $112.5 million deal is virtually fully guaranteed through 2026, according to the Athens Banner-Herald, which acquired a copy of the contract Thursday through an open records request. The only way Smart could be dispatched prior to Jan. 1, 2027, is a firing for cause.

On that date, the guaranteed portion of the remaining amount of the contract drops to 85%, according to the Banner-Herald. Those numbers represent a hefty increase from his previous contract, which guaranteed 65% of his salary if he were to be fired without cause.

Of course, Smart is hardly on the hot seat after winning the College Football Playoff national championship last season. But life can change quickly—especially in the ultracompetitive SEC. After all, Ed Orgeron and Gene Chizik were dispatched less than two seasons after leading LSU and Auburn, respectively, to national championships.

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It also would be expensive for Smart to leave or retire before the conclusion of the contract. He would owe the school $5 million if he were to leave on or before Dec. 31, 2024. That number drops to $4 million for calendar years ’25 through ’27. It’s reduced to $3 million in ’28 and $2 million in ’29. Smart would owe $1 million if he were to leave in either of the final two years of the deal.

Smart will earn a base salary of $10.25 million for the upcoming season. He can add as much as $1.525 million in bonuses, up from $1.15 million, per the Banner-Herald.

Smart also is entitled to up to 50 hours of private jet access per year, double what his previous pact stipulated, per the Banner-Herald.

Smart, who’s entering his seventh season as Georgia’s coach, is 66–15 with two national championship game appearances.

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