According to multiple media reports, the Hokies have hired former University of Texas offensive line coach Stacy Searels to the same position.
As first reported by Kyle Bailey of CBS Sports 101.7 FM and Mark Giannotto of The Washington Post, Searels replaces Jeff Grimes, who left the Hokies last week after one season to take over the offensive line at Louisiana State University.
Searels worked under Mack Brown, a close friend of Tech head coach Frank Beamer, at Texas since 2011 but was not retained under new Longhorn coach Charlie Strong.
In 2012, Searels’ offensive line at Texas allowed 4.1 tackles for loss per game, third best in the nation, and 1.2 sacks per game, 23rd-lowest in the NCAA.
Before working at Texas, Searels coached at Georgia, Cincinnati, LSU and Appalachian State.
While with the Mountaineers, Searels and two other assistant coaches were awarded the NCAA’s Award of Valor for rescuing the team’s athletic trainer and an assistant coach from a van accident moments before the vehicle erupted into flames.
Searels’ hiring comes less than a week after reports surfaced that Grimes would be leaving for LSU. Tech’s quick action is an effort to preserve a strong recruiting class until the Hokies’ oral commitments can become official on signing day, Feb. 5.
In the wake of Grimes’ departure, three-star prospect Brady Taylor (Columbus, Ohio) de-committed from Tech in favor of Urban Meyer and his hometown Ohio State.
The Hokies’ four other offensive line commits, three-star recruits Billy Ray Mitchell (Paramus, N.J.), Colt Pettit (Deshler, Ohio) and Tyrell Smith (Ramsey, N.J) and two-star recruit Eric Gallo (Holland, Pa.) have tweeted or told reporters that they plan on staying true to their verbal commitment.
A former Auburn Tiger offensive lineman, Searels blocked for Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson in 1985 and earned All-America honors his senior year.
He played three seasons in the National Football League with the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins before ending his professional career with the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League of America Football in 1991.
Searels will work with a line that returns four starters from an inconsistent 2013 campaign. Tech has not officially announced the hiring as of this time.