Georgia football coach, Bainbridge native to headline fundraiser in May

Published 9:42 am Monday, April 22, 2019

Kirby Smart, former Bearcats football player and head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, is returning to his roots next month for a fundraiser event at Bainbridge Country Club.

After watching his high school alma mater win the State Class AAAAA Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last December, Smart called Bainbridge coach Jeff Littleton to congratulate him and ask how he could help fund the program.

The Bearcat Touchdown Club Benefit on Thursday, May 16, will headline Coach Smart as a speaker for an elegant evening at Bainbridge Country Club. There will be a seafood dinner, photo opportunities and a live auction. Admission into the event will be by ticket only. Sponsor tables will also be available for local businesses.

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“We started talking about what would be our best route to make a fundraiser to continue building the program,” said Touchdown Club President Connie Mitchell. “So this is what we felt like would be best.”

All the money raised from the benefit will go directly toward the Bearcat football program.

“Whether it be middle school or high school,” said Mitchell. “It takes a lot of money when you’re taking care of a group like we have, and they deserve it.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Connie Mitchell at (229) 254-0720 or coach Jeff Littleton at (229) 248-2242.Smart helped to lead 1993 Bainbridge team to the state semifinals. He also played guard on coach Larry Slaughter’s Bearcats basketball team and shortstop on coach Stan Killough’s Bearcats baseball team.

After high school, Smart went on to earn All-SEC and All-SEC Academic Honors as a defensive back with the Georgia Bulldogs.

His coaching career has taken him from an administrative assistant and running backs coach at Georgia to a defensive positions coach at Valdosta State, Florida State, LSU and Miami Dolphins. From 2008-2015, Smart was defensive coordinator for Alabama, where he helped coach the Crimson Tide to four national championships.

In 2016, Smart was named head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. Since then, he has coached his alma mater to a 32-10 record, including an SEC Championship victory in 2017, a win at the 2018 Rose Bowl and an appearance in the 2018 College Football Playoffs National Championship.