Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was named the American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year, the organization announced Tuesday. The honor comes on the heels of winning the Broyles Award in 2009.
Under Smart's direction, the Alabama defense is one of the best in the nation. Alabama is ranked No. 3 in rushing defense (76.20 ypg allowed), No. 9 in pass efficiency defense (102.76 rating), No. 2 in total defense (247.80 ypg allowed) and No. 1 in scoring defense (11.10 ppg allowed) in 2012.
His defenses have helped Alabama win two BCS national titles in the last four years and five of his defenders earned All-America honors in 2011. Six players on the defensive side of the ball have been drafted in the first round in the last three years.
Smart has been coaching football for 14 years, the last six at Alabama. Off the field, Smart has been involved in various fundraising activities as a member of the Alabama coaching staff. He participates in Nick's Kids, an organization in which Nick and Terry Saban have raised more than $2 million for area youth charities over the last five years.
Smart participated in tornado relief efforts after the devastating storms in April of 2011. He helped set up a fund to help the son-in-law and grandchildren of former Alabama coach Joe Kines following a car accident that killed Kines' daughter
Each year, staff representatives from NCAA and NAIA football-playing schools are asked to nominate an assistant for consideration. From those nominations, a winner is selected by the AFCA Public Relations Committee. The winners of this award were selected from Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and the NAIA.
The Assistant Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1997 and was created to honor assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement.
The criteria for the award are not limited to on-field coaching ability or the success of the team and players that these assistant coaches work with. Service to the community through charitable work and other volunteer activities, participation in AFCA activities and events, participation in other professional organizations and impact on student-athletes are all taken into account in the selection process.
INFORMATION SOURCE: University of Alabama Athletics