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Originally published Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

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UW coaching staff among highest-paid in conference

Figures released by the University of Washington on Saturday show the school could have among the highest-paid group of football coaches in the Pac-12, if not the country, next season.

Seattle Times staff reporter

UW football coaches

Here's a look at the Huskies coaching staff, new titles and salary in guaranteed compensation for 2012:

Dan Cozzetto: offensive-line coach & run-game coordinator, $300,000

Jimmie Dougherty: wide-receivers coach & pass-game coordinator, $190,000

Keith Heyward: defensive-backs coach, $150,000

Eric Kiesau: offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach, $375,000

Tosh Lupoi: defensive-line coach & defensive run-game coordinator, $350,000

Johnny Nansen: assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator & special-teams coordinator, $200,000

Peter Sirmon: linebackers coach, $225,000

Joel Thomas: running-backs coach & associate head coach, offense, $190,000

Justin Wilcox: defensive coordinator, $750,000

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Figures released by the University of Washington on Saturday show the school could have among the highest-paid group of football coaches in the Pac-12, if not the country, next season.

Salaries and staffing at other schools could change, so comparisons at this date aren't definitive.

But UW announced its set of nine assistants will make a combined $2.73 million next year, which would have been more than any group of assistants at any of the 10 public schools in the Pac-12 in 2011.

UW's assistants made roughly $2.3 million in 2011, but the school upped the ante to lure some highly sought replacements to fill five vacancies — three on defense after the Huskies fired three coaches on that side of the ball, including coordinator Nick Holt.

The highest-paid assistant will be new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, who got a three-year contract that pays him a guaranteed $750,000 in 2012 ($350,000 in base pay and $400,000 in supplemental pay) and escalates to $800,000 guaranteed in 2013 and $850,000 in 2014.

Also getting three-year contracts are new offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau, who replaces Doug Nussmeier, who left for Alabama, and defensive-line coach and defensive-run-game coordinator Tosh Lupoi — each worked last season at Cal.

Kiesau will earn $375,000 this year, $400,000 in 2013 and $425,000 in 2014.

Lupoi will make $350,000 per year from 2012 through Feb. 6, 2015, but also got a one-time payment of $100,000 and could earn an additional $100,000 if he remains on the UW staff through the agreement's end date.

Both Lupoi and Kiesau were reported to make $164,000 at Cal.

Cal coach Jeff Tedford and athletic director Sandy Barbour each said in statements this week that the Bears tried all they could to match UW's offers.

UW athletic director Scott Woodward noted in a news release from the school that every Pac-12 school now has more money to spend thanks to the conference's new 12-year TV deal worth roughly $3 billion that takes effect next fall. He also said the rising salaries were necessary to keep up with the competition.

"As we've done since (UW coach Steve Sarkisian's) arrival, we are seeking and signing the nation's best coaches, and we are willing and able to do it at market value," Woodward said. "Our student-athletes deserve the best leaders and the best facilities to create the best environment to win championships. The expenditure on salaries for football's assistant coaches is a prudent investment of that additional money from the Pac-12 new multimedia contract, into the program that gives the biggest return to all Husky athletes."

The other two new coaches — linebacker coach Peter Sirmon and defensive-backs coach Keith Heyward — each got two-year deals.

Sirmon will make $225,000 in 2012 and $250,000 next year and Heyward $150,000 this year and $160,000 in 2013.

According to figures from USA Today, Colorado paid the most to assistants in the Pac-12 last year at $2.49 million — UW was third behind Oregon ($2.35 million). Including head coaches, however, Oregon had the highest budget for its total staff at $5.135 million (USC and Stanford, as private schools, do not release figures — it's generally assumed USC pays the most to its head coach and assistants in the conference).

Sarkisian is due to make a guaranteed $2.25 million next year, making UW's total guaranteed compensation to its coaches at almost $5 million.

The UW news release said "all the new assistants can earn incentive pay for reaching the Pac-12 championship game, for winning it, for appearing in a bowl game and for appearing in a Bowl Championship Series game or the BCS title game" but didn't give details as full contracts with bonus information will be released later.

Three of UW's holdover coaches also got raises to go along with new titles.

Johnny Nansen, who added the title of assistant head coach as well as serving as recruiting and special-teams coordinator, gets a raise from $165,000 to $200,000; receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty, who added the title of pass-game coordinator, goes from $135,000 to $190,000 this year; and running-backs coach Joel Thomas, who added the title of associate head coach, goes from $160,008 to $190,000 in 2012. All three have deals through 2013. Offensive-line coach and run-game coordinator Dan Cozzetto remains at $300,000.

UW is apparently also paying departed coaches Holt, Jeff Mills and Mike Cox roughly $1.02 million, according to the terms of their contracts that ran through the 2012 seasons.

In the news release from the school, Woodward noted that football accounts for 85 percent of all revenue generated by the athletic department and that investing in football helps to assure the financial health of all sports.

"The primary targets for our investments, the ones that will benefit our student-athletes most, remain facilities, student support services and coaches," Woodward said. "These new hires reflect our ongoing commitment to providing the very best for our student athletes in all of those areas."

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @bcondotta.

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