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Georgia gives Kirby Smart a raise to make him the highest-paid coach in college football

Georgia gives Kirby Smart a raise to make him the highest-paid coach in college football

Kirby Smart is set to be the highest-paid coach in college football.

Smart officially received a two-year contract extension from Georgia on Thursday. His contract with the Bulldogs now runs through the 2033 season and he’s set to make $13 million in 2024.

The pay bump pushes him ahead of Clemson’s Dabo Swinney as the highest-paid coach at a public university, according to USA Today’s database. Swinney is set to make $11 million in 2024. Though private school coaching salaries are not available to the public, it's safe to say that Smart is the highest-paid coach in all of college football.

The rankings of the top college football coaching salaries will look a lot different in 2024 with the departures of Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh. Saban retired from his position at Alabama in January before Harbaugh left Michigan after a national title and a 15-0 season for another shot in the NFL with the Los Angeles Chargers. Saban and Harbaugh had routinely been among the highest-paid coaches in college football.

Smart’s extension and raise comes after he signed a 10-year contract with the school in 2022 that was set to pay him just over $10 million a season. At the time of Smart’s extension, just five other coaches in college football had salaries of over $9 million for 2022. One of those five (Saban) retired and two others have been fired. Mel Tucker lost his job at Michigan State after harassment allegations and Texas A&M paid the biggest buyout in college football history during the 2023 season to fire Jimbo Fisher.

Only Smart, Ohio State’s Ryan Day and LSU’s Brian Kelly remain at their current schools from that group of six.

Georgia has won two national championships in three College Football Playoff title game appearances under Smart and has lost just 11 games over the past seven seasons since the Bulldogs went 8-5 in his first season in 2016.

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