With Brandon Jones leaving Chapel Hill to become a part of Dana Holgorsen’s staff in Houston, the Heels have been in search of a new offensive line since Saturday. However, it seems like there is a chance that Heels may have honed in on their replacement.
As first reported by The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, the Heels are closing in on bringing in former Miami offensive line coach Stacy Searels to take over the role. Searels, who coached the offensive line in Coral Gables for the last three seasons, was part of a complete offensive staff overhaul at Miami when Mark Richt retired and Manny Diaz took over last week. With Searels now a free agent, it would only make sense to reunite him with his former coach Mack Brown, who’s staff he was a part of from 2011–13. During his time in Austin, the Longhorns averaged 31.0 points per game, 412.9 total yards of offense per game, 222.8 passing yards per game, 190.1 rushing yards per game. The Longhorns allowed an average of 20.0 sacks per season in those three season, which is a solid number, but the Heels would probably like to be around the 16.0 mark that Texas was at in both of Searels last two seasons at Texas.
Prior to his time at Texas, Searels started his position coaching career in the state of North Carolina with Appalachian State as their offensive coordinator in 1994 and hung around Boone until 2000 when he headed to the then-D1-A level to coaching the offensive line for Cincinnati under Coach Rick Minter. Searels would leave to coach the offensive line under Nick Saban at LSU and even survive the coach change to Les Miles. In his time in Baton Rouge, Searels was able to coach NFL bound offensive linemen Stephen Peterman (3rd Round in 2004 NFL Draft), Andrew Whitworth (2nd Round in 2006 NFL Draft) and Nate Livings (undrafted in 2006 NFL Draft). Searels would change division in the SEC prior to the 2007 season heading to Georgia where he would stay until leaving for Texas. In his four seasons in Athens, Searels would help to mentor guy like Cordy Glenn (2nd Round in 2012 NFL Draft), Ben Jones (4th Round in 2012 NFL Draft) and Clint Boling (4th Round in 2011 NFL Draft). In between Texas and Miami, Searels would spend two years (2014–15) with Virginia Tech, where he helped guys like Wyatt Teller, Eric Gallo and Kyle Chung before he left for Miami.
If the Heels can lock up the experienced Searels, they would finally have their completed staff for the 2019 season. Coach Mack Brown has put together a fantastic staff thus far that focuses on mixing young, innovative minds with veteran, experienced veterans. So far it has paid off on the recruiting. The only question will be does it transfer to the field.