Will Friend, who spent the past four seasons as offensive line coach for former Georgia assistant Neil Callaway at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, was hired today for the same job with the Bulldogs.
Friend is a two-time All-SEC offensive lineman at Alabama who lettered with the Crimson Tide from 1994-97 and was a graduate assistant at Georgia in 2003 and 2004.
‚ÄúWill has played and coached under some outstanding, nationally-recognized offensive coaches,‚Äù coach Mark Richt said in a statement. ‚ÄúHe comes with a formidable resume of offensive football knowledge and experience. I got to see first hand his work ethic when he was a graduate assistant on our staff and since that time he‚Äôs developed into a seasoned, top notch offensive line coach.‚Äù
Callaway hired him to coach the offensive line at UAB in December of 2006 when he became the Blazers‚Äô head coach. Friend worked at UAB under offensive coordinator Kim Helton, a former Houston head coach and NFL assistant.
Now Friend is returning to Athens to coach the Bulldogs‚Äô line, which Callaway was in charge of from 2001-06 when the Bulldogs went to three SEC title games and won two conference championships.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm extremely excited about the opportunity to be the offensive line coach at Georgia,‚Äù Friend said in a statement. ‚ÄúTo have the chance to work with one of the top football programs in the country and with coach Richt and the staff there is tremendous opportunity for me. When I worked with coach Richt and the staff as a grad assistant, I had a great experience and I always wondered if I might have the opportunity to come back to Athens. I am looking forward to getting to work.‚Äù
Friend, who also coached at Gardner-Webb and West Alabama, was a four-year starter at guard for Alabama. The Philadelphia, Miss., native was a Parade All-American at Neshoba Central High School.
UAB ranked tied for 15th in the nation in 2010 in sacks allowed, giving up 12 in 12 games. The Blazers were 59th in the nation in rushing offense.
He replaces Stacy Searels, now the offensive line coach at Texas.
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