ATHENS, GA (WALB) - Several media outlets are reporting Georgia will hire Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to be the Bulldogs' new head football coach. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the first with the story.
The Bainbridge native was an All-SEC DB at Georgia and was a team captain during his senior year in 1998.
Smart spent the last nine seasons on staff with Alabama, including as defensive coordinator the last eight. During that time, Smart won three national titles with the Crimson Tide.
He will take over for Mark Richt, who parted ways with Georgia after 15 seasons. Richt is the second-winningest coach in Dawgs' history.
Smart is helping prepare Alabama for Saturday's SEC Championship Game. The hire is expected to be officially announced shortly after the game, possibly as early as Sunday.
Smart will reportedly bring in his own staff, but a few currently with Georgia will remain. That includes defensive line coach Tracy Rocker.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will reportedly not be retained. Pruitt's defense is ranked 8th in total defense this season, but is a rumored candidate for the South Carolina head coaching vacancy. Pruitt will also be a candidate to replace Smart as Alabama's defensive coordinator.
Current Auburn defensive coordinator and former Florida head coach Will Muschamp is reportedly a candidate to join Georgia's staff as defensive coordinator.