Tag:Stacy Searels
Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:42 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Georgia

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football  will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at Georgia , who begins spring practice today.


Spring Practice Question: Is the Bulldog offense ready to make a push up front?


Entering 2010, the biggest reason Georgia was supposed to be the biggest challenger to two-time defending SEC East champion (and heavy 2010 favorite) Florida was, not coincidentally, their biggest players. Led by veterans like bookend senior tackles Clint Boling and Josh Davis, the Bulldogs boasted the nation's most experienced offensive line . With highly-regarded (and well-compensated) OL coach Stacy Searels leading the unit, the line was believed to be the SEC's best.

Entering 2011, things are very, very different. That line fell far short of the advance hype, with the Bulldogs finishing a disappointing 10th in the SEC in rushing (ahead of only Vanderbilt and Tennessee), doing nothing special in pass protection, and even seeing Searels juggle the lineup late in the year. Though the line wasn't the only problem, it also did precious little to help as Georgia scored 12 points or fewer three times (all losses) and finished a mediocre 56th in the country in total offense. Following the disappointment, Boling, Davis, Trinton Sturdivant (who eventually replaced Davis) and guard Chris Davis all graduated. Searels accepted the same position at Texas. And the advance hype will almost certainly move on to some other team this offseason.

But that doesn't mean it's too late for the Georgia line to get Mark Richt to another SEC title game. For starters, there's still plenty of talent on hand even after the departures, starting with senior center Ben Jones (pictured, a 2009 All-SEC pick before being overlooked last year), 325-pound senior guard Cordy Glenn, and junior guard Kenarious Gates, another player who ascended to the starting lineup late in the year. After seemingly tuning out Searels last year, the Bulldogs will have a new voice in their ears in new coach Will Friend. And maybe most importantly of all, the remaining Bulldogs will have the sting of last year's failures -- rather than an offseason of praise -- fueling them. If Georgia's spring practice shows that the line is enjoying the proverbial addition by subtraction and looks poised to make good on the hype a year late, the rest of the SEC should look out.

Previous Spring Primers
Why? Because if the Dawg line falls into place, everything else on the offense should, too. Aaron Murray was arguably the nation's best freshman quarterback in 2010 and could be the SEC's best signal-caller as a redshirt sophomore. Even with A.J. Green and Kris Durham gone, players like Tavarres King and Marlon Brown, and Rantavious Wooten -- not to mention future NFL tight end Orson Charles -- give the Bulldog receiving corps plenty of potential. And maybe most importantly of all, though he won't be in for spring, incoming tailback recruit Isaiah Crowell could deliver a Marcus Lattimore- like impact for an offense that spent 2010 crying out for a game-changer in the backfield.

Add all of that to a defense that seems certain to improve in the second year of Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme, in a division that's as wide open as any in the SEC's recent memory, and the tools are there for Richt to forge a championship season out of even the miserable ashes of 6-7. But they won't do much good without a huge step forward from the offensive line, and that's where Bulldog fans' primary focus ought to be this spring.

Posted on: February 7, 2011 6:31 pm
 

Could Texas coaching carousel keep turning?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mack Brown must have thought that surely, surely, his staffing overhaul was over after filling his tricky offensive line coaching position with Stacy Searels and watching Signing Day come and go. But now Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman is reporting that with Jeff Fisher out as the Tennessee Titans head coach and Mike Munchak in, the Longhorns may not be out of the woods just yet: 
Munchak is considering Longhorns defensive backs coach Jerry Gray to be the Titans’ new defensive coordinator, the American-Statesman has learned.

Gray coached on the same Titans staff for four years with Munchak, serving as Tennessee’s secondary coach, including the 1999 season when the Titans narrowly lost to the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.

If Gray (pictured) does receive and accept the Titans' offer, it'll be quite the whiplash-inducing career move, having just taken his new job in Austin three weeks ago.

But there's no indication of an offer yet, much less an acceptance from Gray (though Gray -- who has never coached in the collegiate ranks before -- would almost have to consider such an offer, since moving from college position coach to NFL coordinator would represent a substantial jump). And even if Gray does bolt, with Signing Day passed, Brown would have the luxury of working with a much looser deadline to find a replacement.

So it's far from time for Longhorn fans to wish Gray a good-bye, and they won't lose any sleep if they do. But it's a lesson that even for the most powerful of college football programs -- and they don't come any more powerful than programs that have their own network -- recovery from a 5-7 season is never as smooth as they'd like.

Posted on: February 7, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: February 7, 2011 4:56 pm
 

UGA looking for more coaching help on the D-line?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Georgia's already-impressive Signing Day haul got even more impressive over the weekend as 6'4", 340-pound JUCO defensive tackle-slash-colossus Johnathan Jenkins signed with the Bulldogs. Now there's just one question: who's going to coach him?

You'd expect that to be longtime Bulldog defensive line coach (and recruiting ace) Rodney Garner, but the departure of inside linebackers coach Warren Belin for a position with the Carolina Panthers last week has muddied the waters. But the mandatory ad posting to fill Belin's position didn't ask for a linebackers coach , reading instead:
This position serves as Assistant Coach in the area of Defensive Ends. Responsibilities include recruiting talented athletes to play the sport of football as well as guiding and encouraging student-athletes toward graduation at the University of Georgia.
This would be a strange allocation of coaching resources on Mark Richt's part, since the Dawgs run a 3-4 defense in which only one player not a "defensive end" sees the field at a time. Tackles and ends are routinely coached by two different coaches in a 4-3, but the move in a 3-4 would seem to be nearly unprecedented at the college level. If Garner was seriously being asked to coach only nose tackles like Jenkins, wouldn't that be something of a slap in the face?

Which is why the odds that Georgia's actually looking for an out-and-out ends coach seem low. Athletic director Greg McGarity said there was simply a mixup in the language between the athletic department and human resources. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said he "wouldn't put any stock " in the wording of the posting. The Bulldogs could also be looking for someone to coach the outside linebackers in their 3-4 -- the players that would, of course, correlate to DEs in a 4-3 -- while Grantham occupies Belin's role as the inside 'backers coach.

So it's likely the only real news regarding Georgia's coaching staff to come out of this past weekend is the hiring of UAB's   Will Friend , a former Georgia graduate assistant, to replace Stacy Searels as the Bulldogs' offensive line coach. But until a new face is officially unveiled on the defensive side of the ball, some level of intrigue is going to remain.

HT: GTP


Posted on: January 30, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Texas assistants raking in the dough

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A public records request has resulted in the release of salary information for Texas's nine assistant coaches , and to sum that information up in two words: they're buying.

Only 27 assistants nationwide earned $400,000 or more in 2010, but in 2011 more than half of Texas's staff -- co-offensive coordinators Major Applewhite and Bryan Harsin, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, offensive line coach Stacy Searels, and defensive backs coach Jerry Gray -- will meet that benchmark. Harsin's, Diaz's, and Applewhite's salaries would all rank in the top 15 among assistants nationwide last season. Searels' $425,000 per-year contract would have tied with him with Alabama's (since-retired) Joe Pendry as the FBS's highest-paid offensive line coach.

You get the point: the Longhorns are sparing no expense in the wake of last year's 5-7 disaster and the surprise departure of supposed head coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp. Depending on how well Harsin, Diaz, and the other new assistants perform, it's possible Muschamp's decision to leave for the Florida head coaching job could be a financial blessing in disguise; as the nation's highest-paid assistant a year ago with a salary of better than $900,000, Muschamp bidding Texas goodbye helped free up some of the cash that led the new assistants to sign with the 'Horns.

However you slice it, though, this kind of financial commitment shows that Mack Brown is not planning on meekly fading away after his 2010 catastrophe. He wanted a new, top-dollar staff to whisk away the stench of last year, and he convinced those in charge of the Texas purse-strings to give him that staff. No one can accuse him of shrugging his shoulders at last season, nor the Longhorns of being cheap.

Now Brown just needs to make sure no one can accuse him of wasting that money on another losing season, lest the catcalls continue that his salary is the money the 'Horns ought to be saving.

Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: January 20, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Report: UGa's Searels headed to Austin

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The overhaul of the Texas coaching staff continues, and it looks like Mack Brown has found another new member for his Longhorns staff.  Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels was in Austin on Wednesday afternoon, and according to a report he'll be accepting the job of offensive line coach at Texas.
Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels traveled Wednesday afternoon to Austin, Texas, where a website covering University of Texas athletics, Orangebloods.com, reported Wednesday night that he accepted an offer to become the Longhorns’ offensive line coach.
Texas has not yet announced a hire.
Texas head coach Mack Brown has been seeking an offensive line coach since the December retirement of Mac McWhorter. Auburn O-line coach Jeff Grimes last week turned down the position.
Searels and Georgia have not released a comment on the story either.  Searels has been in Athens since 2007 as an offensive line coach, and has made previous stops at LSU, Cincinnati and Appalachian State.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 6:56 pm
 

Assistant salaries: Who's overpaid? Underpaid?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

After earlier compiling a database of all 120 FBS head coaching salaries for the recently completed 2010 season, USA Today today released a look at the salaries of the nation's assistant coaches, all 907 of which are available for comparison here . Your highest-paid assistant: Texas ex-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp at $900,000 per year. The lowest amongst coaches actually drawing a paycheck? Leon Lett -- you remember him ! -- who's being paid just $12,000 to coach defensive tackles at Louisiana-Monroe.

Inbetween on the scale are some 900 other coaches (not counting those working at private institutions whose salaries are not public information). Ignoring certain obvious choices (yes, Greg Davis was overpaid, yes, Dana Holgorsen was a bargain), looking only at 2010 results, and making allowances for coaches in their first year at a new school, here's three choices for the country's most underpaid and most overpaid assistant coaches:

MOST DUE FOR A RAISE

Don Treadwell ($235,250), offensive coordinator, Michigan State.
Despite possessing few playmakers known to fans outside the Midwest, Treadwell guided the Spartans to a top-20 finish in yards per-play and offered his team an enivable balance with better than 2,000 yards rushing and 2,800 passing. He also took over for two games as interim head coach while Mark Dantonio dealt with a heart ailment, winning both. And he did all this for the cost of less than many SEC position coaches.

Jeff Casteel ($372,268), defensive coordinator, West Virginia. Casteel's not doing too badly for himself, salary-wise, but compared to what his fellow DCs are earning in the SEC, Big 12, etc., he's still a bargain. With virtually no nationally-recognized players and few star recruits, Casteel quietly put together the nation's third-ranked unit in total defense and third in scoring defense; the Mountaineers were the only defense in the country to allow 21 points or fewer in every game.

Tom Osborne ($220,000), special teams/tight ends coach, Oregon. Osborne put together arguably the best set of special teams units in the country, leading the Ducks to top 20 finishes in net punting and kickoff coverage, coaxing a 12-of-16 performance from his two kickers, and along with returner Cliff Harris creating the most dangerous punt return unit in the nation, one that racked up better than 18 yards per return and scored five game-changing touchdowns. The Ducks probably aren't in the national title game without him.

Honorable Mention: Manny Diaz ($260,000), defensive coordinator, Mississippi State; Pete Kwiatkowski ($259,520), defensive coordinator, Boise State; Al Borges ($205,000), offensive coordinator, San Diego State.

MOST DUE TO NOT RECEIVE A RAISE

Norm Chow ($640,000), offensive coordinator, UCLA.
That figure includes a $250,000 retention bonus designed to keep Chow in Los Angeles, but maybe the Bruins would have been better off being spared paying the nation's eighth-highest assistant's salary for the nation's 109th-best offense.

Tyrone Nix ($500,000), defensive coordinator, Ole Miss. For Nix's salary, the Rebels could have had Gus Malzahn, who earned the exact same amount this season from Auburn. Malzahn will earn quite a bit more next year, obviously, but Nix won't after overseeing a defense that utterly collapsed in the embarrassing season-opening loss to Jacksonville State and went on to finish 105th in yards allowed per-play.

Stacy Searels ($301,200), offensive line coach, Georgia. Offensive line coaches do very well in the SEC, with several topping the $300,000 mark. If we ignore the low-hanging fruit that was Steve Addazio's season in Gainesville, none had a more disappointing season than Searels, whose Bulldog charges looked to have the makings of one of the nation's strongest ground games at the close of 2009 and entered 2010 with as much experience (and talent, arguably) as any line in the country. Instead the Dawgs finished 10th in the SEC in rushing and middle-of-the-pack in sacks allowed (despite ranking 9th in passes attempted) as Searels wound up forced to juggle his lineup late in the year. Searels has done outstanding work before and likely will again, but 2010 wasn't his best moment.

Dishonorable Mention: Chuck Long and Carl Torbush ($350,000 each), offensive and defensive coordinators, Kansas ; Nick Holt ($650,000), defensive coordinator, Washington; Greg Robinson ($277,100), defensive coordinator, Michigan.
 
 
 
 
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