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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Georgia losing another football assistant

Warren Belin's time in Athens ended up lasting barely a year.

Georgia's inside linebackers coach is leaving for a job with the NFL's Carolina Panthers, UGA spokesman Claude Felton confirmed on Thursday evening. An official announcement from Carolina isn't expected.

"Warren made some outstanding contributions to our team and program in his year with us and we wish him the very best in his new role with the Panthers," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said in a statement.

Carolina has an opening for a linebackers coach on the staff of new head coach Ron Rivera. The Panthers new defensive coordinator is Sean McDermott, who worked with Belin from 1995-96 on the William & Mary staff.

Belin, 43, is a native of Marshville, N.C., and played at Wake Forest. He was hired at Georgia last year after spending eight years at Vanderbilt as a linebackers coach.

Belin was also in charge of Georgia's special teams coverage, which ranked first in the SEC and 15th in the nation. He technically did not coach outside linebacker Justin Houston รข€“ who left for the NFL after leading the SEC in the sacks in the regular season. But he did tutor Akeem Dent, who finished second in the league in tackles.

Georgia is now in the market for two assistants: Offensive line coach Stacy Searels left two weeks ago to take the same job at Texas, accepting a hefty raise in the process.


UPDATE: I spoke a short time ago to Amarlo Herrera, one of Georgia's three inside linebacker recruits. He said defensive coordinator Todd Grantham called him with the news earlier this afternoon. Herrera said Grantham didn't give any indications on a replacement, other than saying "don't worry about it or anything."

“It’s a good move for him," Herrera said of Belin, who he hadn't spoken to as of 8 p.m. "But I was disappointed, because I talked to him for a long time. We got close. So it’s been kind of a surprise.”

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