Here is the official — and quite lengthy — announcement from Texas late this afternoon on the hire of Stacy Searels as offensive line coach:
Jan. 20, 2011
Austin — Stacy Searels, the former offensive line coach at Georgia and LSU, and an All-America offensive lineman as a player at Auburn, has been named offensive line coach at Texas, head coach Mack Brown announced Thursday.
“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.
“We all know what a tremendous player Stacy was at Auburn, and since then, I have admired his work as a coach for many years,” Brown said. “He has a great deal of respect around the country, and at Appalachian State, LSU and Georgia, he has developed some of the best offensive lines in the nation. Will Muschamp, Arthur Johnson and Bo Davis have all worked with Stacy, and their recommendations, and those of many other coaches I talked to, could not have been any stronger. I am really excited about Stacy joining our staff.”
“When Coach Brown called, I was thrilled to hear from him,” Searels said. “His record speaks for itself, but he’s coached at some places where I’ve coached. He was at Appalachian State, and I spent seven years there, so I’ve heard stories about Coach Brown for years. I knew he was a great coach. I’ve watched him throughout his career, and I’ve seen what he’s done here at Texas. In visiting with him, he’s got a great plan for this program. He’s a great leader, and I think he’s going to get everybody focused and going in the right direction, and the future’s going to be bright. I’m so happy he asked me to be a part of this, and I’m ready to get started.”
In 2010, Georgia finished the season ranked 30th in the nation in scoring offense with an average of 32.1 ppg. That included a seven-game stretch to end the regular season where the offensive line helped the team average 41.0 ppg. During that time, the Bulldogs scored no fewer than 31 points and topped the 40-point mark five times. Senior Clint Boling led the line and was named to the Pro Football Weekly All-America Team, along with being a first-team All-SEC selection.
Boling also earned first-team All-SEC honors in 2008 and 2009 under Searels. In 2009, Georgia completed an 8-5 season with a win over Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl. The Bulldogs averaged 161.0 rushing yards per game and ranked sixth in the nation in fewest sacks.
“It was very difficult to leave the University of Georgia, and the state of Georgia where I grew up,” Searels said. “Everyone at Georgia has been so nice to me, and I’m very appreciative of my time there. Coach Mark Richt has been outstanding. He’s a fine man, and he and his family have been incredible to me and my family. It was great to learn under Coach Richt. The offensive staff with Mike Bobo, Coach (John) Lilly, Coach (Bryan) McClendon and Coach (Tony) Ball are all really great friends, along with the whole staff. We’ve been through battles together, and it was hard to leave those guys. Georgia is under new leadership with (Athletics Director) Greg McGarity. He’s going to do a great job there, and it was an honor to get to know him.”
In 2008, Searels took a line that was led by Boling, but also featured three freshman starters, and the unit ranked among the best in the nation fewest sacks allowed, giving up just 17 (21st NCAA). The offense also ranked 22nd in total offense (426.0 ypg), 29th in scoring offense (31.5 ppg) and 16th in passing offense (277.7 ypg).
Even while blocking for a high-powered passing attack, the line helped RB Knowshon Moreno garner All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association and become a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, while averaging 107.7 rushing yards per game. Georgia finished the season 10-3 and ranked No. 13/10 after defeating Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl.
“Probably the biggest thing to overcome is leaving the players,” Searels said. “You build a relationship with them, they’re good kids, they work hard, they’re outstanding people, and I love every one of them. That was the hardest thing – to leave them. I can’t say enough good things about Georgia. I think they have a bright future, and it was awesome to work there.”
In his first season at Georgia, as in 2008, Searels was faced with starting three freshmen, one of which was Boling, whom he helped tutor into Freshman All-America honors in 2007. He also guided C Fernando Velasco into becoming a second-team All-SEC selection. Behind that line, Moreno earned first-team All-SEC honors and the Bulldogs completed an 11-2 campaign that ended in a Sugar Bowl win over Hawaii and a final ranking of No. 2/3. The offense averaged 177.2 rushing yards per game, while ranking 34th in the nation in scoring offense (32.6 ppg) and 13th in fewest sacks allowed (15).
“Georgia was a very tough place to leave, but Texas is one of those few places that I knew if they called, I had to look into it,” Searels said. “At the end of the day, the opportunity here was just too much to pass up.”
Searels had gone to Georgia in January 2007, after serving four years coaching the offensive line at LSU from 2003-06. During that time, the Tigers won a National Championship (2003), a SEC Championship (2003), and two SEC West titles (2003 and 2005), while compiling a 44-8 record.
LSU’s offensive unit in 2006 finished first in the SEC in total offense (417.5 ypg/11th NCAA) and scoring offense (33.7 ppg/ninth NCAA), second in rushing offense (165.8/31st NCAA) and third in passing offense (251.7/18th NCAA) and fewest sacks allowed (19/24th NCAA). The Tigers closed that season ranked third in both polls with an 11-2 record.
Searels made a habit of producing All-America linemen for LSU. He coached two first-team All-Americans in Stephen Peterman and Rimington Award winner Ben Wilkerson and a second-team All-America selection in Andrew Whitworth. Five of his Tigers linemen earned spots on NFL rosters.
In addition, during that four-year stretch, LSU’s offensive line produced a pair of first-team Academic All-Americans in Rodney Reed and Rudy Niswanger. LSU had an offensive lineman named first-team Academic All-America in four straight years.
Niswanger became one of the most decorated student-athletes in school history in 2005, winning the Draddy Trophy as college football’s top scholar-athlete, as well as being the inaugural recipient of the Wuerffel Trophy.
In Searels’ first season at LSU, the Tigers went 13-1 and won the 2003 National Championship with a 21-14 win over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. The offense finished the season ranked 19th in the nation in scoring offense (33.9 ppg), 27th in rushing offense (185.7 ypg), 31st in total offense (418.4 ypg) and 11th in pass efficiency (149.0).
Searels joined the staff at LSU after a two-year stint as offensive line coach at Cincinnati. While with the Bearcats, Cincinnati played in two bowl games, as well as winning the school’s first conference title since 1964 by capturing the 2002 Conference USA crown.
Prior to joining Cincinnati, Searels served as an assistant coach at Appalachian State from 1994-2000, helping the I-AA Mountaineers to five playoff appearances and a pair of Southern Conference titles.
While at Appalachian State, Searels was presented with the NCAA Award of Valor, recognizing him for his act of courage following a head-on collision involving a van carrying members of the Mountaineers football team and support staff on Sept. 30, 2000.
Searels got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Auburn in 1992, working with a Tigers squad that posted a perfect 11-0 mark in 1993.
A three-year starter on the offensive line at Auburn, Searels earned first-team All-America honors from both the Associated Press and Football News as a senior in 1987. He blocked for Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson in 1985 and All-America Brent Fullwood in 1986.
Searels was a first-team All-SEC selection as both a junior and senior, and he was honored with the team’s Ken Rice Award as the school’s best blocking lineman in 1987. He played in both the Japan Bowl and the Senior Bowl before becoming a fourth-round draft pick by the San Diego Chargers in 1988. He played two seasons with the Chargers before moving to the Miami Dolphins in 1990. He ended his professional career in 1991 with the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League of American Football.
A native of Trion, Ga., Searels graduated from Auburn with a degree in marketing and transportation in 1990. He followed that with a master’s degree in higher education administration from Auburn in 1995.
Searels is married to the former Patricia Hale, and they have two daughters, Taylor and Savannah.