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Smart top assistant nominee

Kirby Smart, a 1994 Bainbridge High School graduate and defensive coordinator for coach Nick Saban’s undefeated University of Alabama Crimson Tide, has been named one of 34 nominees for the Frank Broyles Award, which is presented annually to the top assistant coach in college football.

The list of nominees will be paired down to five finalists Monday, Dec. 7, and the winner will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 8, at a luncheon in Little Rock, Ark.

Smart’s Alabama defense is currently ranked No. 1 nationally in total defense and second nationally in rushing defense. Alabama will play the undefeated University of Florida Gators for the Southeastern Conference championship today in Atlanta.

Smart, an outstanding defensive back in high school and college, and son of former Bainbridge High School Bearcats and Rabun County High School Wildcats head football coach Sonny and Sharon Smart, earned Region 1AAAA defensive player of the year in honors in 1993 while helping lead his father’s Bearcat team to the Region 1AAAA championship, a 10-7 victory over the perennially powerful Valdosta High School Wildcats on the road, and a berth in the state Class AAAA semifinals.

He went on to earn All-Southeastern Conference honors as a defensive back with the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

Before coming to Alabama, his coaching career included tenures as graduate assistant coach at Georgia, defensive backfield coach and defensive coordinator at Valdosta State University, graduate assistant coach at Florida State University, defensive backfield coach at Louisiana State University, running backs coach at Georgia and defensive backfield coach with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.