Smart leaves Dawgs for NFL job

ATHENS - University of Georgia running backs coach Kirby Smart has accepted a position coaching the safeties with the Miami Dolphins.

"Georgia is my alma mater and I can't express enough appreciation to Coach Richt, the staff, players, and the Georgia supporters for the opportunity I've had this past year," said Smart. "The position with the Dolphins came up very fast and was unexpected. However, after weighing all the factors, it's a career move that I feel I need to make."

Kirby Smart will be reunited with Dolphins head coach Nick Saban. Smart was on Saban's staff at LSU in 2004.

"Kirby did a great job with our backs during the past year," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "We hate to lose him but at the same time recognize the opportunity he has and wish him nothing but the best."

Smart was a four-year letterman as a defensive back at Georgia from 1995-98, and was a first-team All-SEC selection as a senior. After going to training camp with Indianapolis as an undrafted college free agent in 1999, he spent the '99 season as an administrative assistant on the Georgia football staff. He served the next two years at Valdosta State, including 2000 as the school's defensive backs coach and 2001 as defensive coordinator/linebackers coach.

A two-year stint (2002-03) as a graduate assistant at Florida State preceded his move to Baton Rouge. A four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll at Georgia, Smart earned his undergraduate degree in finance. He earned his Master's degree from Florida State in 2003.

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