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Originally published Monday, January 5, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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UW Football | Steve Sarkisian renews his pursuit of USC's Nick Holt

New UW coach Steve Sarkisian confirmed Sunday night that he is talking with USC defensive coordinator Nick Holt about joining the Huskies.

Seattle Times staff reporter

New University of Washington coach Steve Sarkisian is apparently not ready to take no for an answer when it comes to filling the defensive coordinator position on his Huskies staff.

Sarkisian confirmed Sunday night that he is talking with USC defensive coordinator Nick Holt about joining the Huskies.

Holt was offered the job shortly after Sarkisian became UW's coach on Dec. 8 and turned it down.

But with the position still open, Sarkisian has again approached Holt, who will be in Seattle today. The Times confirmed Holt is registered at a hotel in the University District.

"We're talking," Sarkisian told a reporter from the Los Angeles Daily News. "It's not done. Hopefully we'll know something one way or the other pretty soon."

Sarkisian, however, added that "I don't know if it's something that can get done," as it might take a lot to pry Holt away from the powerful Trojans program.

Holt has Northwest experience, having been head coach at Idaho in 2004-05. He's also thought to be intrigued by having total control over UW's defense, with Sarkisian handling play-calling on offense. At USC, head coach Pete Carroll serves in essence as the defensive coordinator, with final say on play calls and schemes.

Holt, however, could be in for a pay cut if he makes the move, as he is thought to make around $500,000 at USC. The highest-paid assistant for the Huskies is new offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik, who has a three-year deal worth $350,000.

Asked why he went back after Holt after the initial refusal, Sarkisian said, "It was a mutual thing. I'm just trying to hire the best guy I can hire."

Holt has been USC's defensive coordinator and line coach the past three seasons. He has also coached linebackers at USC.

Securing Holt would be a coup for Sarkisian, as the Trojans have been known for their dominant defenses in winning at least a share of the past seven Pac-10 titles. USC led the nation this year in scoring defense (9.0) and was second in total defense (221.77 yards).

Sarkisian returned to Seattle on Friday after finishing up his duties as offensive coordinator at USC with the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.


Besides defensive coordinator, he has five other assistant-coaching spots still open. He will also begin recruiting in earnest for UW, with the team scheduled to host a handful of recruits this weekend.


• One coach earlier rumored headed to Seattle, Detroit Lions quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler, is instead apparently headed to Florida, according to a story Sunday at

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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