ATHENS, Ga. - In his second season in coaching his alma mater, Kirby Smart continues to draw national recognition in leading Georgia to the College Football Playoffs
The head coach of the Bulldogs has been named one of four finalists for the 2017 George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, according to an announcement from the Maxwell Football Club (MFC) on Thursday.
Smart joins Scott Frost (UCF), Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma) and Dabo Swinney (Clemson) as finalists. Smart has led the Bulldogs to a 12-1 record, the Southeastern Conference title and the school’s first appearance in the College Football Playoff. Third-seeded Georgia will face second-seeded Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018.
In his second year at the helm, Smart guided the Bulldogs to a vast improvement from the 8-5 record the team posted in 2016. Georgia finished the regular season 11-1 and then won the SEC championship, the program’s first since 2005. This year, the Dawgs swept rivals Florida, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, won a marquee non-conference game at then #24 Notre Dame and avenged their only loss in the SEC Championship Game rematch versus then #2 Auburn. The Bulldogs went undefeated in the SEC East for the first time in program history.
Voting opens Friday for the finalist selection of the George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year. Eligible voters include NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and football Sports Information Directors, Maxwell Football Club members and selected national media.
The winner announcement will be made on Jan. 3, and the award will be formally presented at the 81st Maxwell Awards Gala on March 9 at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.