Before Head Coach of the Georgia Bulldogs Kirby Smart ever placed on a headset, approached a podium for a press conference or awarded numerous coaching accolades Coach Smart was a student at Banbridge High School in Southwest Georgia.
"His dad was a football coach and a baseball coach and Kirby just knew the game...he was a coach on the field," said Stan Killough, Coach Smart former baseball coach.
"Little on the small side, fast but probably the thing that disguise him among a lot of high school players is his knowledge of the game and being able to apply it," said Jimmy Harris Coach Smart former high school football coach.
The college football head coach played football, basketball and baseball during his time at Banbridge High. Teachers and coaches recalled memories of his time at Banbridge and say that there was one thing that always stuck out to them about Smart.
"Fiercely competitive and he was very intense," Killough said.
That competitive nature didn't just stop at sports but it translated to the classroom as well.
"He competed with other students for the highest grades and wanted to do his best," said Tracy Poppell Coach Smart former science teacher.
Former coaches and teachers say they are not surprised by Smart's success.
"He's not going to ask any of his coaches to do anything he is not willing to do and his work ethic is what's got him here," Killough said.
Coach Kirby Smart will coach in his first college football national championship on January 8th against the Alabama Crimson Tide. If he win he will give Georgia their first national championship in three decades.