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UGA To Hire Friend As O-Line Coach

It took a weekend to percolate, but it appears that Mark Richt is finally ready to name Will Friend as Georgia’s new offensive line coach.  The Athens Banner-Herald is reporting today that a background check is all that stands between UAB’s offensive line coach and a position on UGA’s staff.

According to Marc Weiszer of The Banner-Herald:


“One coach who was interested in the opening to replace Stacy Searels said he was told by somebody at Georgia that Friend was in line for the job.  That coach said he believed Friend was the only candidate brought in for an interview.”


Friend was an All-SEC offensive lineman at Alabama in the mid-’90s. He is also a former graduate assistant at Georgia under Richt (2003-04).

News began to spread on Friday that Friend would be Richt’s choice to replace Searels… who left Athens for the O-line job at Texas last month.

Interestingly, when Searels — a Georgia native who’d had opportunities to leave Athens before — up and left for Austin, many folks (including those of here at MrSEC) wondered if his departure was a sign that some rats might be looking to jump from Richt’s sinking shift.

A couple weeks and one stellar signing class later and the outlook in Athens has gone from bleak to cheery.  Funny how a batch of recruiting rankings can improve the mood of a fanbase and kickstart a program’s momentum and image.

 


6 comments
Scotty B.
Scotty B.

I don't see anyone spinning this from the angle that Searels was nudged out because of the underperformance. Is there a good case for this?

rageatm
rageatm

The o line needed a change in coaching. Just look at the performance the past few years.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

HBTD...

As I stated, the "rats jumping ship" comment was a theme in coverage of Searels' departure from all over the internet, not just here. In fact, that possibility was even mentioned in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And I'll say this, Searels reportedly has had offers to leave Georgia before. I'm guessing those other offers also included raises. Most coaches don't make lateral moves unless there is a salary bump.

So we stand by what was said in this post -- that some have wondered (including us) if Searels' decision to leave was at all motivated by Richt's status at Georgia. Now, good luck if you'd like to spin it that Richt is on solid ground heading into 2011.

Thanks for reading,
John

HBTD
HBTD

Jumping ship may have been the initial "theme" but when the facts came out that he was receiving a substantial raise that was not matched by his current employer that "theme" was false and useless. Also, I was commenting on your article not any others that may have been posted on the internet. Trying to substantiate your claims by saying others have said it is not a very strong defense.

Searels' previous offers to leave Georgia did include raises but they were subsequently matched and he stayed in Athens. This time Georgia did not match and he left. Not many schools are going to pay $425,000 to an offensive line coach let alone one with an underperforming unit the previous two seasons.

Where did I say anything about Richt being on solid ground?

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

HBTD...

You're certainly free to believe whatever you like.

Searels -- as I said in the piece -- had been offered other jobs and he turned them down. He accepted this one. As I noted in the piece -- not as a defense, but as a statement of fact -- a LOT of people believe Searels left because Richt is in hot water. In other words, you're being pretty argumentative for a man who holds the minority opinion.

But the truth is: Only Searels knows for sure why he left. Which is why we didn't state "He left because of X." We simply wrote that we -- and others -- had wondered if he was gettin' while the gettin's good. Our official opinion here at MrSEC is that yes, Richt's job status probably did pop into Searels' thinking while weighing his current job against Texas' offer.

Now, if you don't believe job security played any role in his thinking -- just the cash -- bully for you. You may well be right.

But I know I've never taken a job or left a job based purely, 100% on money.

John

HBTD
HBTD

I would credit Searels receiving a 42% increase in pay as his motivation to leave for Texas and not rats looking to jump ship as you have tried to insinuate. He went from making around $300,000 to $425,000 to coach the offensive line. He would be crazy to turn that down no matter either school's coaching situation.

It would be no different than if you received an offer to be Mr(fill in the blank).com and it would increase your pay by more than 40% to, say, $40,000. You couldn't pass up the offer.

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