Stacy Searels leaving Georgia? Can I offer him a lift? (Update II)

Stacy Searels hasn't lived up to his reputation at Georgia. (Brant Sanderlin)

Stacy Searels hasn't lived up to his reputation. (Brant Sanderlin)

(Updated below with Searels officially accepting the job.)

Reports are flying that Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels is closing in on taking a job with Texas coach Mack Brown, who has been churning assistants (and recently lost coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp to Florida).

First thought: Does Searels need a ride to the airport?

Second thought: Is it abandon ship time in Athens?

First, about Searels: He came to Georgia from LSU in 2007 with a solid reputation. But the Bulldogs’ offensive line has been central to their problems, particularly in the running game.

Now, I suppose some of the blame also could be attributed to the team’s oft-criticized strength and condition program (Dave Van Halanger recently was demoted), or to a perceived lack of talent up front, or to coach Mark Richt. But Searels can’t be absolved of responsibility. Coaching the offensive line is his job and he also carries the title, “running game coordinator.”

I’ve already received Tweets from readers asking me if Searels’ departure just two weeks before national letter of intent day would hurt recruiting. I doubt it. Any recruit who is willing to come to Georgia knowing the state of things and amid questions of Richt’s job security is not going to change his mind based on the offensive line coach leaving. That recruit probably is coming for playing time and to be at Georgia.

Onto the second thought: Searels has good reason to look around, as would any Georgia assistant coach. We don’t know where this program is headed. If Richt loses his job after next season, his assistants are out of work.

In particular, head coaches tend to bring in their own offensive line coach. If Searels sees guaranteed long-term employment elsewhere — and certainly at a solid program like Texas — he would be nuts not to take the job.

Searels would be going from a 6-7 team to a 5-7 team. But Texas was in the BCS title game two seasons ago and won the title in 2005. Mack Brown’s not going anywhere.

UPDATE: The Rivals Texas sports site Orangebloods.com reports that Searels has accepted the job. However, Texas has not announced the hiring and the Austin American Statesman reports there will be no announcement tonight. An excerpt from the Orangebloods story:

Sources close to Texas and Georgia have confirmed to Orangebloods.com that Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels has accepted the Texas offensive line coaching position. That could bring to an end a nearly two-month-long process in which Mack Brown has replaced six assistant coaches and made changes at two other staff positions.

UPDATE II: Searles was named the Texas offensive line coach Thursday night. Here’s an except of the official announcement, via Tim Tucker’s blog.

“When you’re in this profession, you want to coach at the highest level,” Searels said. “From afar, I had always been interested in The University of Texas because I thought it was one of the premier jobs in the country. You can win a championship, you have great leadership, great players, a great pool of talent to recruit from, and I think there’s no reason you can’t win and win big at Texas, and I want to be a part of that.”

Searels joins the Longhorns after coaching the offensive line at Georgia for four seasons beginning in 2007. He added the duties of running game coordinator in 2009. During his time in Athens, the Bulldogs have ranked in the Top 25 in the nation in fewest sacks allowed three times, including ranking sixth and leading the SEC in 2009 with just 12.

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So Richt would have a key position to fill on his staff, presumably after recruiting.

343 comments Add your comment

Buck Commander

January 19th, 2011
5:13 pm

First for the second time today!!

Buck Commander

January 19th, 2011
5:15 pm

Dont worry about giving him a lift Jeff, I’ll buy him a FIRST Class Airline ticket if he wants to leave.

Steve

January 19th, 2011
5:18 pm

It’s not like Searels is going to some directional school in the Sunbelt Conference. He’s going to Texas. I would see this as more of a sign of an assistant jumping ship rather than UGA getting rid of dead weight. (Although, UGA may be better off with a new OL coach based on past results.)

Buck Commander

January 19th, 2011
5:21 pm

If we can get a few more of the UGA football coaches to go with him I should be able to get a group discount on tickets and some extra flying miles also. A man can still dream, cant he.

Ted Striker

January 19th, 2011
5:21 pm

Dude won’t be able to wear that “5 Straight National Championships by the SEC” tee he just bought if he leaves.

Jeff Schultz

January 19th, 2011
5:21 pm

Buck Commander — I’m not going higher than business class on Air Tran.

Dale

January 19th, 2011
5:21 pm

Mack Brown not going anywhere? One or two seasons max. This would have been his last season but he didn’t want to go out on a 5-7 note.

Jeff Schultz

January 19th, 2011
5:21 pm

Steve — Point(s) taken.

BG

January 19th, 2011
5:22 pm

Jeff, You really hate Mark Richt don’t you? You take a jab at Richt and UGA every chance you get.

Jeff Schultz

January 19th, 2011
5:24 pm

Ted Striker — Where have you been hiding out? And are you waiting for Playboy’s “Best of the BCS 5 Champions Wet T-Shirt Cheerleaders” edition? …. (pause) … I figured you were.

Jeff Schultz

January 19th, 2011
5:25 pm

BG — No, I don’t hate Mark Richt. No, I don’t take a jab at him every chance I take. What in this blog would you construe as a “jab” or inaccurate? Do you debate his job security status?

Bull

January 19th, 2011
5:25 pm

Jeff you should ride with him to the airport and make it a one way flight

jim

January 19th, 2011
5:26 pm

Chris Scelfo, welcome back to UGA!

jim

January 19th, 2011
5:28 pm

jeff,
please ignore the morons who think anything negative or critical about uga here is due to some hidden agenda. i stunned they can actually read & operate a computer.

Buckeye

January 19th, 2011
5:28 pm

VA DAWG

January 19th, 2011
5:28 pm

Who could be potential candidates to replace him, if he does indeed leave for Austin?

DawginOH

January 19th, 2011
5:29 pm

If anything, this should make recruiting easier! Glad to see this underachiever go. Any word on possible candidates to replace him?

Leedawg

January 19th, 2011
5:29 pm

Schultz, I’ve always thought that Bradley was by himself on the Isle of Dumbarse. I’m beginning to think that you’re rowing your boat in that direction. You want Searels gone as much as the rest of us, and yet you take the opportunity to jab CMR. Richt knows what he has to do next year.

VA DAWG

January 19th, 2011
5:30 pm

Wisconsin always seems to turn-out first rounders, year after year? Could we lure an assistant like that or is going to be a small school guy?

Jeff Schultz

January 19th, 2011
5:34 pm

Jim — Thanks, but I understand. Sports fans are passionate and everybody has opinions. But you’re correct about the no agenda thing. It’s a common misconception.

jim

January 19th, 2011
5:39 pm

Funny how 2 really great programs (Texas & Oklahoma) are happy to get UGA coaches (Searles & Martinez) that we all wanted to run out of town.

Terry

January 19th, 2011
5:39 pm

Maybe we can get Hugh Nall to come back to UGA he’s a Georgia Man. 1977-80 -Georgia (offensive line) 1981: Georgia (student assistant in spring under Wayne McDuffie)
1981-84: Georgia Southern; Offensive Line
1989-94: Texas Christian; Offensive Line (1989-92), Associate Head Coach (1993-94), Defensive Line
1995-98: Mississippi; Offensive Line
1999- Auburn; Offensive Line (1999-present), Off. Coordinator (2003)

missouridawg

January 19th, 2011
5:42 pm

Good Blog Jeff. Searels needs to go. I just hope CMR can replace him with someone who is good and talented, unlike Bobo. And Jeff, keep up the good work, I enjoy your writing.

UGASlobberknocker

January 19th, 2011
5:44 pm

I would like to welcome the new OL coach, Coach Vacancy, What an improvement,

WDE

January 19th, 2011
5:45 pm

You bull-pup fans think this is a good sign… I am so sorry, but you’re wrong. Texas can have pretty much any OL coach they want in the country, and now they’re like buzzards picking off the carcass that is the UGA program.

Searels was limited at Georgia. It’s not so simple as our OLine didn’t play well, it’s his fault. It was a failure of the UGA football system as a whole, and now he’s jumping off the sinking ship.

Look for Richt to hire someone from Southern or something, no one that will make a splash… Because no one with any kind of reputation is about to sign on for a one-year crapshoot in Athens.

Don Draper

January 19th, 2011
5:46 pm

Jeff — It is always the same with you, if Richt does not lose any assistants folks like you are saying that is an indictment of Richt and the staff. Now, if Richt does lose an assistant it is because they are abandoning a sinking ship. There is no pleasing you and MB as any news must conform to your narrative.

Also, “Mack Brown is not going anywhere?” Do you even follow CFB? You do realize that UT just lost their HC in waiting (Muschamp)? Why do you think UT had such a position to begin with, if current occupant is not going anywhere? A guy who just went 5-7 and had to make staff changes himself (i.e. McWhorter getting pushed out).

WDE

January 19th, 2011
5:47 pm

Jeff Grimes is the OL coach at Auburn, not Hugh Nall

FRED

January 19th, 2011
5:48 pm

Jeff if not for you a lot of UGA fans would think all is ok in Athens football

bamaguy

January 19th, 2011
5:49 pm

At the risk of speaking heresy in Georgia, isn’t going from UGA to Texas a step up career wise? Texas is a perennial national powerhouse, UGA isn’t.

.

WDE

January 19th, 2011
5:50 pm

bamaguy- you’re absolutely right. All Georgia can say these days are they are in the SEC.

AthDawg

January 19th, 2011
5:51 pm

Hoefully, we can get a big name guy, possibly an NFL guy who will woo linemen to UGA. An energetic motivator, recruiter and line coach all in one.

missouridawg

January 19th, 2011
5:52 pm

heh, heh, bamaguy…….you got that right.

WDE

January 19th, 2011
5:53 pm

Do you not get it, AthDawg? No one with any kind of hot reputation (read: big name) would ever jeopardize their career for the off chance Georgia would turn it around next year.

Too much wrong with the program for anyone but someone looking to move up into a BCS league to take this job.

1eyedJack

January 19th, 2011
5:53 pm

Good news!! Never liked his practice of cross traing his linemen to play all 5 positions and shifting them around. We need them to concentrate on their own positions. If your backup tackle ain’t good enough then recruit a better backup tackle.

Bull

January 19th, 2011
5:54 pm

Don, you hit the nail on the head. Shultz always has a negative spin for things, huh? Last time I checked the hot seat board, Mack Brown’s name was up there too. Lost Muschamp and their def coordinator and wasn’t even bowl eligible, so is Texas a “sinking ship” program as well….? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining CSS possibly leaving, our o-line has underperformed greatly, but I do respect him enough not to smear his name like Shultz does….

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Josh Mosley. Josh Mosley said: RT @JeffSchultzAJC: Stacy Searels may leave Georgia? Can I offer him a lift? http://bit.ly/hWeG2z [...]

jack bull

January 19th, 2011
5:55 pm

sounds a little like sour grapes to me there jeff…there’s a reason why one of the top football schools in the nation would be looking to get him…and i’m sure it’s not because he’s a bad coach….

but, like you say, get him outta here, he don’t let his guys talk to the media…he needs to go!!!!!

Bull

January 19th, 2011
5:58 pm

….reading these opinion columns is reading flawed logic and reasoning. Always tunnel vision, only support the facts that support JS own argument.

jack bull

January 19th, 2011
5:58 pm

yeah, you should never cross train you OL, ya know, cuz college teams are so loaded with depth at that position, it just doesn’t make any sense at all..

1eyedJack

January 19th, 2011
5:58 pm

Could CMR have whispered in his ear, “maybe you should update your resume and take a look around”.

1eyedJack

January 19th, 2011
6:01 pm

Yeah, Jack Bull, ask Clint Boling why he could never play consistently. Probably cost him three rounds in the draft.

1eyedJack

January 19th, 2011
6:05 pm

Georgia had 16 OL on the roster this year. If you can’t get 3 tackles, 3 guards, and 2 centers out of that then you have recruited poorly.

bamaguy

January 19th, 2011
6:07 pm

WDE (Which I assume is War Damn Eagle, and if so, congrats!): People forget that coaching is a profession. It is how these guys support their families and save for their eventual retirement. Most of the decisions are based on “what is best for me and my family” not some misguided loyalty. Kirby Smart doesn’t stay at Alabama because he would not LIKE to return to his alma mater, but because it is the bust business decision for him and his family.

Denver Dog

January 19th, 2011
6:08 pm

Does it matter? I think not. Mack Brown is for sure grasping for straws, Schultzie remember this: “all glory is fleeting”.

Terry

January 19th, 2011
6:09 pm

WDE, Hugh Nall was the Line Coach under Tuberville at Auburn, your not very bright are you, look at the Years first next time, before you show how stupid you really are.

Sergeant Joe Friday, LAPD

January 19th, 2011
6:11 pm

Why don’t he take Buck Commander with him………what a douche bag!

BostonDawg

January 19th, 2011
6:11 pm

Get back to advertising, Don Draper. He simply made an argument based on an opinion. He didn’t say, “He’s abandoning ship.” He brought up a thought that might make others think…and then backed it up with his reasoning for having that thought.

Blind faith doesn’t do us any good. It’s ok to question things…especially with the way they are going.

Jeff Schultz

January 19th, 2011
6:12 pm

Bull — After this blog, I don’t think Stacy would want me on the same flight. I like Austin though.

Sergeant Joe Friday, LAPD

January 19th, 2011
6:12 pm

Buck Commander…and I’ll buy you a first class ticket if you’ll leave!

Jeff Schultz

January 19th, 2011
6:13 pm

Missouridawg — Thanks for the comments. You live in Mizzou now?