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Originally published Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 8:34 PM

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Offensive coordinator Nussmeier top candidate for Alabama job? | UW football

With move to Tide, Doug Nussmeier would add play-calling to his duties.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Washington offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will leave to take the same position at Alabama and could be named soon, sources told The Seattle Times Sunday night.

Nussmeier's expected departure would be the fifth change among nine Washington assistants this year. Washington had kept its same staff intact through the first three years of the Steve Sarkisian era, although there were two changes before spring ball in Sarkisian's first year of 2009.

Four of the changes have occurred on defense, including three instigated by the Huskies with the firing of defensive coordinator Nick Holt and two others.

The Huskies' offensive staff has yet to experience any turnover under Sarkisian. But speculation rose early Sunday that Nussmeier had emerged as the leading candidate when two other finalists for the Alabama job appeared headed to the NFL. Dirk Koetter was hired by the Falcons and Brian Schottenheimer was reportedly hired by the Rams.

Washington does not typically comment on coaches who might be leaving, and Alabama made no announcements Sunday. Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian calls the plays for the Huskies while Nussmeier would have that responsibility at Alabama, which Monday won its second national title in three years.

Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is leaving the Crimson Tide to become head coach at Colorado State. Nussmeier was regarded as a logical candidate since he succeeded McElwain as offensive coordinator at Fresno State in 2008.

Kneip to walk on

Bellevue High offensive lineman Michael Kneip said Sunday he has accepted an offer to enroll at Washington and become a preferred walk-on for the football team (meaning he gets invited to fall camp rather than coming in when school begins).

Kneip reportedly had offers from Yale and Idaho State but took an official visit to UW over the weekend, when he affirmed plans to become a Husky.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or

On Twitter @bcondotta

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