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Smart money on DC sticking with Tide?

Kirby Smart, Courtney Upshaw

It didn’t take long after Will Muschamp was hired as Florida’s new head coach for the speculation connecting Kirby Smart to Gainesville to begin in earnest.

A day after Muschamp was tabbed as Urban Meyer‘s successor, reports began to surface that Smart had been offered the coordinator job on Muschamp’s UF coaching staff.  That connecting of the dots made perfect sense; Muschamp and the Alabama defensive coordinator have worked together at a couple of coaching stops the past two decades, are long-time friends and remain very close.

Ultimately it was reported that Smart was leaning toward staying with the Tide.  As Nick Saban does not normally allow access to his assistants, Smart has been mum, at least publicly, on joining his friend with the Gators.  That changed Thursday as Smart addressed the media for the first time since the rumors surfaced and attempted to snuff out the speculation.

Asked if he and Muschamp had discussed working together again, Smart gave the ever popular “not really” denial.

“That’s kind of a gray statement there, informal conversation,” Smart said. “Will and I talk all the time. He’s one of my best friends. I’ve known him for more than 20 years now. And he and I talk a lot, but not really about me coaching with him, no.”

Smart did intimate that, when he does move on from the Tide, it will likely be for heading his own football program as opposed to making a lateral move that his current boss so frowns upon.

“Yeah, obviously that’s the next step I’d like to take is to be a head coach,” Smart said. “I’m at a great place now. My wife and my family, we’re all happy at the University of Alabama. Coach (NickSaban’s been very good to me, and the University of Alabama’s been very good.”

All of the speculation surrounding Smart and Florida should come to an end, one way or the other, next week; UF athletic director Jeremy Foley said Wednesday that most or all of Muschamp’s coaching staff should be in place by Tuesday.

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12 Responses to “Smart money on DC sticking with Tide?”
  1. blitz4848 says: Dec 31, 2010 10:01 AM

    Florida will name their new OC & DC after Sundays NFL games are finished. It appears BOTH coordinators will come from the NFL ranks.

  2. polegojim says: Dec 31, 2010 10:43 AM

    Wow – watering down the ranks at Texas and Alabama, while creating a weak coaching staff at Florida. Ouch.

    Will the push for Smart soften when MSU beats the Tide?


  3. soflatrojan says: Dec 31, 2010 12:06 PM

    I thought after the hype around him last year he would be high on peoples list for a HC job this year. I have not heard his name mentioned once.

  4. blitz4848 says: Dec 31, 2010 12:45 PM

    What really shows the state of Michigan football is that with no coaching staff Florida would be better than the blue haze.

    Florida will be just fine as their coaching staff comes together in time next week to close out the recruiting season with a top 10 class.

    MSU has a better chance of going undefeated in the Big 10 the next 3 yrs than they do of beating

  5. Deb says: Dec 31, 2010 1:27 PM

    @soflatrojan …

    Unfortunately, the NFL’s defensive gains were Bama’s loss. Last year’s Tide defensive stars are now starting for the Ravens, Patriots, Chiefs, and Raiders. And Nick got a lot of the credit for bringing together that defensive powerhouse. This year, our D wasn’t dominating, which had an impact on Smart’s marketability.

    Just got back from holidays in Tuscaloosa where no one thought Smart was going to Florida. Funny how Nick is supposed to be murder to work with, but despite all the rumors, he manages to keep his coordinators :) No one could blame them from taking HC positions when offered, but they don’t seem interested in making lateral moves just to get away from him.

  6. blitz4848 says: Dec 31, 2010 2:58 PM

    ****You heard it here FIRST****

    Charlie Weiss will be the next GATOR OC.

    The contract isn’t completed but he has agreed to be the next GATOR OC.
    What a coup that will be and a tremendous boost to recruiting down the stretch…….
    GATOR NATION is ALL smiles today.

  7. edgy says: Dec 31, 2010 3:06 PM

    Have they sent the plane to KC?

  8. blitz4848 says: Dec 31, 2010 3:14 PM

    After the playoffs–it will take a 747…lmao

  9. edgy says: Dec 31, 2010 3:30 PM

    They must be paying a pretty penny to get Weiss because KC is paying him quite a bit. Don’t be too enthusiastic because he’s really had his best years when he’s had damn good QB in NE, ND and KC. Some people want to credit him with Cassel, except, he wasn’t there in NE when Cassel led the team to 11-5 (Look at what happened to the guy who got credit for Cassel in NE. Got him a job, that he kept for about a year and a half). The real reason why they got better was that Cassel was in his second season with the receivers, Bowe finally lived up to his potential, they got a TE to replace Gonzales and their RB tandem was more effective with Jones vs Johnson.

  10. edgy says: Dec 31, 2010 4:59 PM

    Jesus, I can’t believe that I fell into the trap — it’s Weis. :)

  11. WingT says: Dec 31, 2010 8:19 PM

    I have to admit, MSU is formidable. They are very well coached, and have some really good atheletes. It also seems to me that MSU has more motivation for this game than Bama – that really scares me.

    This year Bama has been a bit of a mystery – you never know if they will show up ready to play for 4 quarters.

    The biggest problem for Bama is that their leader on defense, Mark Barron, will not play due to injury. Barron is going to be a Pro Bowl player one day – he is that good.

    Any team would be wise to hire Kirby Smart as their head coach. I really think he will do well when he gets a chance. I also think that McElwain will also make a great HC – he really connects with the players.

    So, can MSU beat Bama tomorrow? Yes they can. Will they? I truly don’t think so. Julio Jones will have a big day along with Mark Ingram.

    Roll Tide

  12. WingT says: Dec 31, 2010 8:41 PM

    Kirby Smart – the next head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. You can take that to the Blitz bank, lol.

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