CMR has hired Will Friend, who has been the Offensive Line coach at UAB (University of Alabama Birmingham) for four years as the Dawgs’ new Offensive Line Coach to replace Stacy Searels.  Searels left Athens for the same job at Texas, allegedly for a big pay hike.

 Much ado has been made about how he and Neil Callaway have both bounced back and forth to Georgia and around each other.  Friend was a two-time All-SEC offensive lineman at Alabama in the 1990s, with Callaway as his position coach.  It was Callaway that recommended that Friend go into coaching.  Then Friend was a graduate assistant at Georgia under Callaway (when Callaway was at Georgia) for two years.  Then, after other stints, he ended up working for Callaway again, who became head coach at UAB, for four years.  Now, he ends up back at Georgia. (source:

 That’s all a very cute story, and just makes you shiver and start believing in Déjà vu and all that other unimportant crap.  But what exactly does that have to do with CMR hiring the absolute best possible person he could for that position, after the disastrous offensive line play we had in 2010?  Nothing that’s what!

 Firstly, let me make it very clear that I admittedly know nothing about Coach Friend nor his coaching abilities or lack thereof.  So nothing I say here is any reflection upon him personally.  But the fact I see is this.  Florida needs a new Offensive Coordinator?  They go out and get Charlie Weis, ex-head coach of Notre Dame, from the Pros.  They go out and get a name with experience with the big guys.  On the other hand, we keep Bobo as our Offensive Coordinator (that discussion shall be reserved for an entire future blog) and go and get somebody that nobody has heard of for our new Offensive Line Coach.

 From what I can see, other than his short previous stint at Georgia as a graduate assistant, the highest level football system at which he has coached was at UAB.  UAB, for its level of play has had good teams, but the bottom line is that it is a second tier team that usually gets its butt kicked when it plays an SEC school.

 One thing we must all remember.  No matter how much talent we got in our “dream team” recruiting class, our team will only be as good as the coaching given them.  If the offensive line doesn’t create holes for a back to go through, nobody, including Isaiah Crowell, will make any yardage.  It takes a very very good Offensive Line Coach to teach what it takes to make those holes in the SEC.  So, with that in mind, did CMR make the best choice that he could?  Who else did he have to pick from? Perhaps Hugh Nall, who is a Georgia Alumnus and coached the line at Auburn for years?  What about the recently fired head coach from Maryland, Ralph Friedgen, whose name has been bandied about?  Surely there were some other names out there with more experience with big college programs.

 I believe everyone deserves a chance to get their first big break.  But now?  With our team?  After a losing season?  We were lucky enough to get the very best in terms of the 2011 recruiting class, and they deserve to have the very best in coaching.  Mediocrity just doesn’t get it anymore.

 So, that being said, I wish Coach Friend only the best, and I hope he proves to be the best damn Offensive Line Coach there is in the SEC.  Just remember to ‘Bark like a Dawg!’





By: Dawgman1973 (Gary K.) Lead-Blogger “Dawn of the Dawg

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