Huskies set to hire Steve Sarkisian, according to report, sources
Steve Sarkisian, USC's associate head coach and offensive coordinator, will be named Washington's new coach, according to multiple sources and an ESPN report.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Washington Huskies have settled on Steve Sarkisian as their new coach, according to a report on ESPN and multiple sources.
A former UW player told The Times that someone who works at the university, with knowledge of the situation, confirmed the report. The former player was told that UW had hoped to delay announcing the hiring until USC — Sarkisian's current team — played its final regular-season game Saturday against UCLA.
Washington athletic director Scott Woodward, speaking to reporters before Washington's basketball game against Oklahoma State on Thursday night, would neither confirm nor deny the report, saying only he had nothing yet to announce.
"We will not talk about it until we are ready to talk about it," he said.
Asked further about the report he said, "We'll see when the announcement comes."
Sarkisian, approached by reporters in Los Angeles after USC's practice Thursday, also denied the report. He said he had talked with UW officials on Wednesday but denied he had been offered or taken the job.
Sarkisian, 34, is USC's associate head coach and offensive coordinator.
He played quarterback at BYU in 1995 and 1996.
He interviewed at UW on Thanksgiving Day and one source said Thursday that "he thought it went really well."
Another source told The Times on Thursday night Sarkisian badly wants the job and has had some of his coaching friends lobbying the Huskies on his behalf. It had been thought nothing would be done concerning Sarkisian until after USC plays Saturday.
One source said Woodward was blown away by Sarkisian's interview and decided to go with a young, energetic face to take over for the fired Tyrone Willingham.
Earlier in the day, two coaches known to have interviewed for the job — Fresno State's Pat Hill and Texas Tech's Mike Leach — had withdrawn their names from consideration.
The hire, if it comes to fruition, caps a search that began when Willingham was informed on Oct. 27 that he would not be back as coach next season.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:18 PM
Washington State's Klay Thompson will play Thursday against Huskies