Kirby Smart is enduring a 'time management challenge'

New Georgia coach Kirby Smart has been dividing his time between recruiting for Georgia and preparing Alabama's defense for Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl. (AP photo)

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New Georgia coach Kirby Smart has been dividing his time between recruiting for Georgia and preparing Alabama's defense for Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl. (AP photo)

DALLAS -- New Georgia coach Kirby Smart isn't fully the Georgia coach yet. He's still coaching Alabama's defense through the College Football Playoff and is in Dallas preparing for Thursday's Cotton Bowl national semifinal against Michigan State. Here are a few quick highlights of his comments Monday:

• On why he decided to stay to coach Alabama in the playoffs: "The defensive line cornered me in a room and said if I didn’t stay there'd be an altercation. No, kidding. This group is special and I'm fortunate to be able to coach them. I was fortunate that the University of Georgia president Jere Morehead allowed me to coach Alabama, and I was fortunate that Alabama allowed me to stay."

• On the difficulty of balancing the two jobs: "There was a week there when I was on the road recruiting for the University of Georgia. Then there was a point when I got to come back to Tuscaloosa and it became about Alabama. Obviously it's a time management challenge. There's only so much you can do in a day. But once you're focused on the task at hand, you're focused on the game."

• More on the difficulty of two jobs: "One day at a time, brother. One day at a time. There’s light through the tunnel, I keep telling myself.”

• On seeking advice from other coaches who went through the same thing: "I spoke to several coaches by the guy who helped me the most was Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons. He went through the same thing coaching the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. He talked about working an hour later at night and getting up an hour earlier, cutting off a couple of hours sleep. When you game plan you're sacrificing some time with your family. Managing your time is the biggest thing."

• On how much he has learned from his father, Sonny Smart, a former long-time high coach: "I learned a lot from him. I've never stopped calling him asking questions. I have a lot of respect for high school coaches. There are a lot of high school coaches who just never got the opportunities that I did."

•  On divided loyalties during recruiting: "I never got a feeling of mixed loyalties. When I was recruiting for Georgia, I was 100 percent with the Georgia Bulldogs. When I'm coaching Alabama, I'm 100 percent with Alabama."

I'll have plenty more later from Smart and also some comments from his father, Sonny.

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