New Georgia coach Kirby Smart keeping two key assistants

Kirby Smart is hanging on to two of Mark Richt's key assistants.

Marvin Gentry/Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

New Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is keeping assistants Kevin Sherrer and Tracy Rocker — holdovers from Mark Richt’s staff. Smart made the announcement Tuesday, according to the school.

A source told FOX Sports on Monday that the retentions were expected.

Sherrer has coached the SAM linebackers since January 2014 after coming to Athens following a stint as the defensive coordinator at South Alabama. He had worked with Smart while both were on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama. Back then, Sherrer spent three seasons as Director of Player Development at Alabama. He is a former tight end for the Tide.

Rocker has coached Georgia’s defensive line and WILL linebackers since January 2014. An Atlanta native, he is a former Auburn All-America defensive lineman, 1988 Outland and Lombardi Award winner, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

This season, Georgia ranked No. 8 in the nation in total defense, allowing just 298 yards per game. Former defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt left and will become Alabama’s new defensive coordinator, replacing Smart.