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Georgia shakes up offensive staff

ATHENS - Georgia shook up its offensive coaching staff Friday, naming Bryan McClendon to coach the running backs, shifting Tony Ball to wide receivers and naming John Eason director of football operations.

Eason, a receivers coach and holdover from coach Mark Richt's original staff in 2001, will take over for Steve Greer, who's retiring June 30 after more than 35 years at Georgia as a player, coach and administrator.

'Steve Greer has been a loyal and dedicated Georgia Bulldog,' Richt said. 'I know all the Georgia people will join in wishing him the very best in retirement.'

Greer's departure had a domino effect on the offensive staff. Ball, the running backs coach, will shift into Eason's old job. McClendon, a Georgia receiver from 2002-05, will oversee the backfield after serving as a graduate assistant the past two years.

'Coach Eason has been handling a lot of administrative duties in his role as associate head coach and he'll transition well into his new responsibilities,' Richt said. 'Tony will be going back to coaching a position he spent a great deal of time with before coming to Georgia.'

Ball was a receivers coach at Virginia Tech and Louisville before joining Georgia's staff in 2006.

Richt described McClendon as 'a bright young coach who will be a terrific addition to our full time, on-field staff.' His playing career is best remembered for the game-winning catch he made in the closing minutes of the 2005 game against Georgia Tech.

'He's one of our own, having come through our program as a player and graduate assistant,' Richt said. 'He knows the 'Georgia way.'