Georgia assistant takes job at Texas

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Texas hired offensive line coach Stacy Searels away from Georgia to take over the same position on the Longhorns' staff.

The announcement came a day after Searels and his wife flew on a private plane from Athens, Ga., to Austin, Texas.

"Georgia was a very tough place to leave, but Texas is one of those few places that I knew if they called, I had to look into it," Searels said in a statement. "At the end of the day, the opportunity here was just too much to pass up."

Now Georgia coach Mark Richt has an opening on his staff with signing day on Feb. 2. Georgia has five nonbinding offensive line commitments, including offensive tackle Zach DeBell from Tarpon Springs, Fla.

Richt, running backs coach Bryan McClendon and inside linebackers coach Warren Belin visited DeBell at his house Thursday for at least two hours, he said.

DeBell said Richt expects to hire Searels' replacement "soon" -- before signing day.

"I just hopes he picks as good of a coach as the last one," DeBell said.

"I'm still committed to Georgia, but the door is cracked open. The door is not all the way closed."

CLEMSON: The Tigers have addressed a depth issue by adding two quarterbacks and two defensive ends as early enrollees to the football program.

Quarterbacks Tony McNeal , of Chester, S.C., and Cole Stoudt , of Dublin, Ohio, joined defensive ends Corey Crawford , of Columbus, Ga., and Joe Gore , of Lake Waccamaw, N.C.

The four are eligible for spring practice.

LEACH UPDATE: A Texas appeals court threw out former coach Mike Leach 's breach of contract claim against Texas Tech on Friday, though it said he could still pursue non-monetary claims against the school over his controversial 2009 firing.

"We won," Texas Tech attorney Dicky Grigg said. "The court has held that he has no monetary claims against the school."

University attorneys had argued that Leach could not sue the school because Texas Tech is a state entity with sovereign immunity, meaning it can only be sued with permission from the state Legislature or a waiver based on a defendant's conduct.

A trial court ruling went against the school, but the latest decision from the 7th Court of Appeals upheld Texas Tech's assertion of immunity.

Paul Dobrowski , Leach's attorney, said he plans to appeal the issue to the Texas Supreme Court.

In a separate case, Leach has also sued ESPN Inc. and a public relations firm, accusing them of libel and slander after he was fired. The lawsuit seeks undisclosed damages and retractions from ESPN and the PR firm.

LOUISIANA STATE: Head coach Les Miles says new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe 's main mission will be to improve the performance of Louisiana State University's quarterbacks.

Kragthorpe's experience includes a stint as Buffalo Bills quarterbacks coach in 2001-02, when he worked with Drew Bledsoe . He also was a head coach at Louisville and Tulsa.

MISSISSIPPI: The Rebels have hired Keith Burns to coach the team's defensive backs.

Burns, a 27-year coaching veteran, held the same position at Kansas State last season.

WASHINGTON: The school has rewarded coach Steve Sarkisian with a five-year contract after he led the team to its first bowl game since 2002.

The school says on its official athletics Web site, gohuskies.com, that the deal guarantees the 36-year-old Sarkisian $12.75 million through 2015. It replaces the five-year contract he signed when he joined the team in January 2009.


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