Smart withdraws from S. Miss search

December, 16, 2011
12/16/11
10:25
PM ET
Alabama fans can breathe easier for now.

Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Southern Miss head coaching job.

Smart's name has been thrown around a lot this offseason in connection with several vacancies, but the Southern Miss job is the only one he's interviewed for. Smart met with Southern Miss officials this week and was thought to be the favorite, but he decided that it wasn't the time to make a move.

One of the top defensive coordinators in the country, Smart won the Broyles Award in 2009 as the top assistant coach in college football. He came to Alabama in 2007 with Nick Saban and has been the Crimson Tide's defensive coordinator for the past four seasons.

There were reports that Smart was in play for both the Ole Miss and Texas A&M head coaching jobs, but he never interviewed at either place.

While Smart is out of the picture at Southern Miss, another top SEC defensive coordinator, South Carolina's Ellis Johnson, remains in the mix. Johnson interviewed with Southern Miss officials on Thursday.

Chris Low | email

College Football

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