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2016 Liberty Bowl

SPECIAL THANKS BOWL HISTORY HONORS TCU GEORGIA BOWL EVENTS WELCOME When Georgia looked for a new head football coach after the 2015 season, the arrows all pointed to Kirby Smart, longtime University of Alabama defensive coordinator and former Bulldog player and assistant coach. On Dec. 6, 2015, Smart officially came home to Georgia. But he had unfinished business at Alabama, which was still chasing a national title. He juggled two jobs for a month until January 11, 2016, when the Crimson Tide won its fourth national championship in a seven-year span. Twelve hours later, he was in Athens ready to go to work. In his first season leading the Bulldogs, Georgia extended its school record to 20 consecutive bowl appearances and posted four fourth-quarter comebacks including wins over No. 8 Auburn and No. 22 North Carolina. Smart is one of nine head coaches at schools from Power 5 conferences that are coaching at their alma mater. When Smart was named head coach, he said, “It’s an honor and privilege to return home to the University of Georgia and my home state. I’m deeply appreciative of the faith President Morehead, Greg McGarity, and the Athletic Board Executive Committee have demonstrated in asking me to lead one of the truly great college football programs in the country. I also want to thank Coach Saban. I have been fortunate to spend 11 seasons with him as my mentor and have learned a tremendous amount from him as a coach and 70 | 58th AutoZone Liberty Bowl teacher. I’m honored and excited for the opportunity at Georgia and promise high energy, effort every day, and hard work every minute on the part of all our coaches, staff and student-athletes.” Smart had served on the Alabama staff the past nine years, the past seven as defensive coordinator. During his tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide won three BCS National Championships, one College Football Playoff national title, three Southeastern Conference crowns, six SEC western division titles, and was ranked in the nation’s final top ten rankings the last eight years in a row. A former standout defensive back and scholar-athlete at Georgia, Smart was one of the nation’s most respected defensive coordinators. He was recognized as the 2012 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2009 Broyles Award winner as college football’s top assistant coach. As a player, Smart was a four-year letterman at defensive back for Georgia, where he was a first team All-SEC pick as a senior. He finished his career with 13 interceptions. A four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, Smart received his BBA degree in Finance from UGA in 1998 and his M.S. in Physical Education from Florida State in 2003. The Bainbridge, Ga., native is married to the former Mary Beth Lycett of McDonough, Ga., a four-year letterwinner, and two-year starter, on the Georgia women’s basketball team from 2000-03. They are the proud parents of twins Weston and Julia (8) and son Andrew (4). KIRBY SMART Georgia Head Coach


2016 Liberty Bowl
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