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Three Reasons Why Kirby Smart Will Be The Highest Paid Coach in College Football

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is subject to receive a lucrative and well-earned raise in the coming weeks. Here's why it will reset the market for college coaches.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is subject to receive a lucrative and well-earned raise in the coming weeks according to president Jere Moorehead who stated that Smart and the University are in active negotiations on a "Long Term" contract for the national championship-winning head coach.

So, after delivering the first national title in 41 years at the mere age of 46 years old, Kirby Smart is heading into his seventh season as the Georgia Bulldogs' head coach and he's set to be paid handsomely. 

But just how much? And could he set the new standard in college football?  

Highest-Paid Coaches in CFB:

  1. Lincoln Riley, USC: $10m+
  2. Nick Saban, Alabama: $9.7m
  3. Brian Kelly, LSU: $9.5m
  4. Mel Tucker, Mich St: $9.5m
  5. Ryan Day, OSU: $9.5m
  6. David Shaw, Stanford: $8.9m
  7. Dabo Swinney, Clemson: $8.3m
  8. Mario Cristobal, Miami: $8m
  9. Jimbo Fisher, TAMU: $7.5m
  10. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss: $7.25m
  11. Kirby Smart, Georgia: $7.13m

Reason No. 1: The Next One is The Biggest One

College football coaches are akin to NFL Quarterbacks in the sense that the next time a competent one comes up for free agency, they now set the market for the biggest annual salary. It's how Matt Ryan can go from the highest-paid quarterback in the league in 2018 when he signed his $150m contract extension, to now being the 12th highest-paid quarterback heading into the 2022 season behind names like Carson Wentz and Derek Carr. 

Mel Tucker got $9.5m, so Lincoln Riley got $10m. That is the way the market is structured, until the bubble burst. It's the same reason Nick Saban is likely due a raise soon as well. 

What's the old adage? A rising tide lifts all boats. Well, as long as the money pot keeps ballooning, so will salaries, especially after a national title. 

Reason No. 2: He's Worth It

Look at the list above. There aren't many coaches you'd take over Kirby Smart. Kirby Smart is (62-14) as a head football coach in six seasons, he's played for two national titles, winning one of them, and consistently puts Georgia at the table year in and year out. He's won 81.6% of football games since taking over at Georgia, with nearly half of his career losses coming in his first season as a head coach at Georgia. 

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Reason No. 3: If You Don't, Someone Will

Supply and Demand is something they teach you quite a lot about in basic business courses. The availability of a product or a service directly impacts the price point, as does the volume in which the product or service is needed. Look around the college football landscape... 

Consistently great coaching is extremely rare, and the demand for such coaching is at an all-time high. The college coaching profession was a grind before Name, Image, and Likeness where negotiations with players have sprouted up all across the country. It was a 365-day-a-year profession before the transfer portal demanded you keep your current roster pleased and put. 

No one's crying for Kirby Smart here, after all, he's not exactly hurting by any means in the financial department, but that doesn't mean he's not worth it.

The market says so. 

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