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The search for Virginia Tech’s new offensive line coach may come to an end today according to reports. Over the past few days, rumors have run rampant over who Frank Beamer would hire to replace the departed Jeff Grimes, who left Virginia Tech after just one season to take the same position on Les Miles’ staff down at LSU.
Stacy Searels spent four seasons coaching under Nick Saban and Les Miles at LSU, including LSU’s national title season in 2003. He then went to Georgia in 2007 where he became run game coordinator. There’s a specific part that stands out to me in his Georgia University bio.
In each of his first two seasons he took offensive lines with three freshman starters and molded them into formidable units that were instrumental in the Dogs' 11-2 and 10-3 records and top ten final rankings.
That is impressive and it’s something Searels may have to do at Virginia Tech to be successful, especially if he can keep this 2014 OL class together.
After four years in Athens, Searels moved on to Texas in 2011 where he became a part of Mack Brown’s staff. Texas struggled to run the ball at times during Searels tenure but I’m not sold that his OL units were to blame. Injuries certainly didn’t help and Texas’s inability to recruit offensive skill players with talent is probably the main culprit.
Here’s a quick look at his offensive lines through the years.
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2003 LSU: 27th in rushing, 31st in total offense, LSU won the National Title
2004 LSU: 20th in rushing, 38th in total offense
2005: LSU 52nd in rushing, 60th in total offense, 47th in sacks allowed, 56th in TFL allowed
2006 LSU: 31st in rushing, 11th in total offense, 24th in sacks allowed, 20th in TFL allowed
2007 UGA: 37th in rushing, 74th in total offense, 13th in sacks allowed, 34th in TFL allowed
2008 UGA: 56th in rushing, 22nd in total offense, 21st in sacks allowed, 21st in TFL allowed
2009 UGA: 47th in rushing, 75th in total offense, 6th in sacks allowed, 25th in TFL allowed
2010 UGA: 73rd in rushing, 56th in total offense, 62nd in sacks allowed, 23rd in TFL allowed
2011 Texas: 21st in rushing, 54th in total offense, 73rd in sacks allowed, 67th in TFL allowed
2012 Texas: 53rd in rushing, 40th in total offense, 22nd in sacks allowed, 3rd in TFL allowed
2013 Texas: 36th in rushing, 64th in total offense, 17th in sacks allowed, 76th in TFL allowed
Judging from those numbers, Searels has done a tremendous job running the football during his tenure and usually, the quarterback stays upright in the pocket. Searels is experienced and he's a good fit with what Scot Loeffler wants to do on offense here at Virginia Tech. If this hire comes true, I would have to give Frank Beamer a lot of credit for going out and hiring another elite coach to replace Jeff Grimes.
UPDATE: The Hokies are interviewing 3 candidates today with the main one being Stacy Searels. Bob Bostad and Todd Washington may be the other two but we have not confirmed that yet. We'll see what transpires over the next 24 to 48 hours.
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