Winning earns Kirby Smart, Georgia coaches substantial bonuses

Credit: Bob Andres for the Atlanta Constitution

Credit: Bob Andres for the Atlanta Constitution

ATHENS – It will be a good Christmas for the Kirby Smart family.

Smart already has earned $850,000 in performance bonuses from Georgia based on the football team’s success so far, and he can make another $500,000 if the Bulldogs can repeat as national champions.

That’s according to the terms of the 10-year contract Georgia’s football coach signed this past summer. The bonus structure therein calls for Smart to earn $300,000 for winning the SEC Championship (which the Bulldogs did 50-30 over LSU on Dec. 3), $500,000 making the College Football Playoff and $250,000 each for wins in the semifinal and/or championship game.

Winning SEC coach of the year last week triggered a $50,000 bonus for Smart. He also can earn a $100,000 bonus if he is named national coach of the year and a $50,000 bonus based on the team’s academic performance.

The No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Bulldogs (13-0) will play No. 4 Ohio State (11-1) in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl semifinal in Atlanta on Dec. 31 (8 p.m., ESPN). The winner will advance to the CFP championship game on Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

In July, Smart signed a 10-year contract worth $112.5 million. He will receive $10.25 million in this first year, then receive automatic escalators each year going forward for an average of $11.25 million per season.

The contract, brokered by his Memphis-based agent Jimmy Sexton, made Smart the highest-paid college football coach in the country at the time. Alabama coach Nick Saban ($11.7M) and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney ($11.5M) each received raises since then to put them back in front.

Last year, when the Bulldogs made a run to the school’s first national championship in 41 years, Smart earned performance bonuses totaling $1.6 million.

Georgia’s 10 assistant coaches also have earned bonuses totaling more than $1.5 million so far for the team’s accomplishments. Winning the SEC championship was worth 20% of each coach’s base salary. Reaching the playoff is worth another 25%, and that goes up to 30% for winning the semifinal and 40% for winning the national title.

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