December 13, 2008

Auburn eyeing Searels?

Is Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels being courted by his alma mater at Auburn as an assistant for new head coach Gene Chizik?

If so, Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt isn't saying.

UGASports was the only media outlet attending Saturday night's annual football Gala at the Classic Center in downtown Athens and after its conclusion asked Richt about reports that Georgia's stalwart assistant was talking with the Tigers.

However, when asked, Richt declined to answer on the record to either confirm nor deny whether Searels had been asked to speak with Chizik, who was named Auburn's coach on Friday.

Searels had already established himself as one of the top offensive line coaches in the SEC when Richt hired him to replace Neal Callaway in 2007 after serving four years as the offensive line coach at LSU during which time the Tigers won a national championship (2003), one SEC title (2003) and SEC West titles (2003 and 2005).

This past year at Georgia might have been Searels' best season of all.

Despite season-ending injuries to left tackles Trinton Sturdivant and Vince Vance, Searels managed to keep the Bulldogs' youth-dominated front line together and finished second in the SEC in fewest sacks allowed with 15.

During his playing career at Auburn, Searels earned first-team All-SEC honors in 1986 and 1987. He also blocked for former Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson in 1985 and All-American Brent Fullwood in 1986.

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