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Buccaneers Head Coach Rumors: Georgia’s Kirby Smart Targeted by Tampa Bay | Bleacher Report

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 01:  Kirby Smart, head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs looks on during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have interest in interviewing Georgia’s Kirby Smart for their head coaching vacancy.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Saturday the Bucs are hoping their hire makes a “splash” and that Smart is on their list of candidates.

Smart, 43, has only one year of NFL coaching experience. He was the Miami Dolphins‘ safeties coach for the 2006 season under Nick Saban.

Georgia is 32-10 in three seasons under Smart. The Bulldogs lost to Alabama in last year’s national championship game and were defeated by Texas in the 2019 Sugar Bowl.

Smart has not expressed any interest in coaching in the NFL. But since he was on Saban’s staff during his mentor’s disappointing stint in Miami, it’s possible Smart will look to avoid the same pitfall and stay in the college game.

The Bucs’ interest in Smart may have only been cursory, anyway. Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians appears to be the front-runner to land the position. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Tampa Bay is “very serious” about hiring Arians, who retired following the 2017 season.

Arians has a relationship with Jameis Winston, whom the Buccaneers expect to return as their starting quarterback in 2019.

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