UGA going large to get Smart

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The Tuscaloosa News was the first media outlet to report that Georgia had an offer on the table for Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to assume the same role in Athens.

In their report, the News stated that Smart had a written contract in hand from UGA, a deal that contained annual salaries well in excess of what he’s currently making at with the Tide.

Thanks to Gentry Estes of the Mobile Press-Register, we now have a better understanding of just “well in excess” may mean in this case.

According to Estes, and citing multiple sources, UGA could be willing to pay Smart at least double his yearly salary if he makes the move across SEC divisional lines.  Since Smart made around $370,000 in 2009, UGA is apparently willing to pay the 34-year-old assistant somewhere in the neighborhood of three-quarters of a million dollars annually to run their defense.

Such an agreement would make Smart the third-highest paid defensive coordinator in the country, behind Tennessee’s Monte Kiffin ($1.2 million in ’09) and Texas’ Will Muschamp ($900,000).

So, when you add the financials to Smart’s Georgia ties — he was a defensive back for the Bulldogs from 1995-1998 — it’s very easy to see why he might have an interest in leaving a school that just brought home the crystal less than a week ago.

Not to mention the fact that, as pointed out by several readers, the school he might be headed to could very well be in the market for a new head coach following the 2010 season.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.