Mark Richt shares why he hired offensive line coach Stacy Searels twice, at Georgia and Miami

Former UGA coach Mark Richt pumps up his team during warmups before Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech. (AJC/Curtis Compton)

ATHENS — Stacy Searels impressed coaches Mark Richt and Mack Brown so much that each hired the offensive line coach twice, and at two different schools apiece.

It seems Georgia coach Kirby Smart is hoping once is all it takes for a productive and lasting relationship, as Searels is expected to be the choice to replace Matt Luke on the Bulldogs’ national championship offensive line.

REPORT: Stacy Searels the choice for Georgia offensive line position

Luke, also a former head coach at Ole Miss, resigned from his post with the Bulldogs on Feb. 21, citing an urge to spend more time with his family.

RELATED: Matt Luke resignation sign of time, new coaching challenges

Searels, 56, leaves Brown’s staff at North Carolina after overseeing the ACC’s top rushing attack each of the past two seasons.

It’s Searels’ second tour in Athens, as Richt hired him in 2007 to build an offensive line for future No. 1 overall NFL draft pick and Super Bowl champion quarterback Matthew Stafford.

“When I hired him as Georgia, it was based off watching the tape of his offensive linemen at LSU,” Richt said, noting that Searels got his SEC start working for then-LSU coach Nick Saban in 2003.

“You can interview guys and talk ball, and some interview great, but the proof of the pudding is in the film.”

Richt, who recruited such great backs to Georgia as Knowshon Moreno, Thomas Brown, Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, knew what he wanted his offensive lines to look like back when the UGA was still known as “RBU” — and Searels’ groups had that look.

“They were physical in the run game and sound in pass game,” Richt said, “and they had some nasty to them in a football sense, little meanness, which isn’t bad at that position. That’s what sold it to me.”

Richt’s opinion on Searels didn’t change, even when Searels left Georgia to join Brown’s staff at Texas in 2011.

“Once he was on campus, I appreciated the way he coached enough to want to hire him when I went to Miami,” Richt said. “That’s a pretty good indication of how you feel about a guy.”

Smart has also hired former Richt assistants Bryan McClendon (receivers coach) and Mike Bobo (analyst) this offseason.

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