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Originally published January 13, 2014 at 5:21 PM | Page modified January 14, 2014 at 9:00 PM

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Washington assistant football coaches will make more than $3 million combined

The combined salary for eight new Huskies assistant football coaches on Chris Petersen’s staff will be a little more than $3 million in their first year.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Washington’s eight new assistant football coaches are guaranteed a combined salary north of $3 million in their first year on Chris Petersen’s staff, making them among the highest-paid staffs in the Pac-12 Conference.

Each of the eight assistant coaches signed two-year deals through Jan. 31, 2016, and each has a guaranteed raise of $15,000 for the second year, according to documents released by UW on Monday.

Petersen signed a five-year, $18 million deal with UW last month, and his average annual salary is the highest known of any Pac-12 head coach.

The total guaranteed salary for the eight new assistants is $3,075,000, an increase from $2,835,000 of UW’s nine previous assistant coaches.

Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski is UW’s highest-paid assistant, guaranteed $485,000 in his first year. He made $352,000 as Boise State’s defensive coordinator in 2013, according to the USA Today database of coaches’ salaries.

Next, making $425,000 each, are UW assistant head coach/linebackers Bob Gregory, offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith and associate head coach/offensive line Chris Strausser.

Defensive back coach Jimmy Lake will earn a guaranteed $375,000; defensive line/special teams coach Jeff Choate and wide receivers coach Brent Pease will each earn $345,000; and running backs/recruiting coordinator Keith Bhonapa is scheduled to earn $250,000.

New contract details have yet to be released for tight ends coach Jordan Paopao, who was retained in the same role, as announced last week. He made $110,000 at UW last season, and a UW spokesman said an addendum for his new contract was still being finalized.

Each of the eight new UW assistants has a standard bonus system — ranging from $2,000 for a team Academic Progress Rate of 950 to $30,000 if the Huskies win the national title — that was nearly identical to the previous staff’s bonuses.

Former Huskies defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox made $800,000 at UW, then the highest known salary of any Pac-12 assistant coach. Wilcox was one of five former UW assistants to follow former UW coach Steve Sarkisian to USC. As a private school, USC does not disclose its coaches’ salaries.

Cree leaves team

Connor Cree, a reserve defensive lineman from Skyline High School, has left the UW program. As a third-year sophomore in 2013, Cree had 11 tackles and one sack.

“When I talked to Petersen, the thing I really wanted to emphasize is that my decision had nothing to do with the coaching change,” Cree said Monday. “It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year. ... To be honest with you, I was just kind of burned out. I lost passion for the game.”

Cree said he will continue to pursue a sociology degree at UW.

Adam Jude: 206-464-2364 or

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