Will Friend hired for Georgia line

Will Friend hired for Georgia line

February 8th, 2011 by David Paschall in Sports

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt (AP Photo/ Butch Dill)

Will Friend, UAB's offensive line coach the past four seasons, was named Monday to the same position at Georgia.

Friend was a graduate assistant for the Bulldogs during the 2003 and '04 seasons. He has worked at UAB under head coach Neil Callaway, who was Georgia's offensive coordinator and line coach from 2001 to '06, and under offensive coordinator Kim Helton, who was head coach at the University of Houston from 1993 to '99.

"Will has played and coached under some outstanding, nationally recognized offensive coaches," Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said. "He comes with a formidable resume of offensive football knowledge and experience. I got to see firsthand his work ethic when he was a graduate assistant on our staff, and since that time he has developed into a seasoned, top-notch offensive line coach."

Friend, who turned 36 on Monday, was a four-year starting guard at Alabama under Gene Stallings (1993-96).

"To have the chance to work with one of the top football programs in the country and with Coach Richt and the staff there is a tremendous opportunity for me," Friend said. "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."

UAB racked up 5,074 yards this past season, its second-highest total in a single season. Blazers quarterback Joe Webb, now with the Minnesota Vikings, was named the Conference USA's top offensive player in 2009, when he became the first in NCAA history to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in consecutive seasons.

The hiring of Friend, who replaces Stacy Searels, leaves the Bulldogs with one defensive coaching vacancy.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.