Kirby Smart Thinks Nick Saban ‘Will Coach for a Long Time’
As day two of SEC Media Days got underway in Hoover, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart made his debut at the annual event. As expected, the former Alabama defensive coordinator answered quite a few questions about his former boss, Nick Saban.
Smart said he learned a great deal on and off the field from Saban, and he'll carry that experience with him to Athens. But he also wants to put his own stamp on the program and not just try to mimic the process in Tuscaloosa.
"I got great value from the nine years I spent at University of Alabama and 11 years I worked for Coach Saban, learning the difference between a team and a program," Smart said. "That's where I want to put my stamp on the University of Georgia, is the difference between a team and program. A team is a group of young men playing together. The program is the entirety of that, what goes into that, how do we support these student-athletes off the field, what things can we give them from a nutrition standpoint, strength and development, their wellness, psychological development, everything we can do for the team and for the entire program is the stamp that I'd like to put on it."
Curiosity about Saban's future at Alabama continued on Tuesday, and there are few people that have been as close to the Crimson Tide head coach as Smart in the past decade.
"He's driven to be the best. And I think that's what makes him different. Because everybody is driven for their different purpose and everybody has there 'why.' And for Coach Saban, I think he wants to be the best.
"And after spending 11 years with him, the things I'm able to take are countless. I've learned so much for him as a coach, as a person, as a man, as a leader. But the -- he will coach for a long time. I do believe that. Because he likes it. He's passionate about it. He's very healthy. He takes care of his body. He hadn't slowed down a bit. I promise you that."
Smart will make his Georgia head coaching debut against North Carolina in the Georgia Dome on Sept. 3.
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