For the first time in over a decade, there will be a new man calling the shots for the Georgia Bulldogs. With this weekend’s firing of Mark Richt, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart looks to be the program’s next head coach. He will be unable to officially sign a contract, however, until the Crimson Tide play in the SEC Championship game this weekend.

Smart has previous ties to Georgia as both a player and a coach. He suited up for the Bulldogs from 1995 through 1998 and earned all-SEC honors as a senior defensive back.

After a run at the NFL–he signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent but never played a regular season game– he returned to his alma mater as an administrative assistant to the football program. After several seasons of work at Valdosta State, Florida State and LSU, he returned to Georgia as running backs coach.

Smart’s wife, Mary Beth, also has ties to the school. She is a former Georgia basketball player and has worked in the school’s athletics department.

Photo: Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates their 42 to 13 win over the Missouri Tigers in the SEC Championship game at the Georgia Dome on December 6, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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