LOS ANGELES – Georgia coach Kirby Smart said his father, former high school football coach Sonny Smart, will not play in the college football national playoff game due to health issues.
“It hurts me that he and my mom won’t be here,” Kirby Smart said Saturday during CFP media day. “But I know it’s the right decision for him. There is nothing worse than watching your parents grow old. It’s like taxes; It’s unavoidable. They will grow old. And it was hard.”
Monday night at Sophie Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., the best Bulldogs will face No. 3 TCU.
Sonny Smart has been a regular at his son’s games since Kirby took over as head coach at his alma mater in 2016. Sonny and his wife Sharon Smart also missed the Peach Bowl last week against Ohio State.
Kirby Smart played for his father while growing up in South Georgia.
“He taught me so much about how to behave, right and wrong,” Kirby said. “Manage the ruled. A moment is never too big if you’re ready. And I always watched him prepare our teams and our staff in high school. He was a very wise man, a man of few words. I tried to follow his mantra as a coach.”
Sonny Smart was the head coach at Bainbridge High School for two decades.
“Of course I learned how to train other people, but a lot of my core beliefs came from how he ran our programs in high school,” said Kirby Smart.
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