Candidates for Washington defensive coordinator position
Posted by: Pete Roussel on December 31, 2011
Steve Sarkisian is hunting a new defensive coordinator and three other defensive assistants.
On Saturday, Sark dismissed defensive coordinator Nick Holt, linebackers coach Mike Cox, and safeties coach Jeff Mills. Corners coach Demetrice Martin recently accepted a job at UCLA.
Incoming PAC-12 coaches Rich Rodriguez, Todd Graham, and Mike Leach have made a career out of putting up huge offensive numbers. It's even more the reason why Sarkisian faces the most important decision of his head coaching career.
If the Huskies are ever going to compete for a PAC-12 championship, the defense will have to rise to another level. There will be no shortage of quality candidates. Sark is considered one of the better head coaches to work for in the country and Washington has a lot of positive things going on in the program.
Let's take a look at a couple of possible candidates:
Jeff Casteel - Casteel has been one of the most consistent coordinators in the country over the last several years. If Sark wants to make a run at Casteel, he'll have to do so quite quickly. Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez has yet to hire a defensive coordinator and many coaches believe Casteel will arrive in Tucson shortly after the Orange Bowl. Sark could steal Casteel with presumably a much larger budget set aside than Arizona. Washington could benefit from Casteel's knowledge of Rich Rod's offense, Todd Graham's scheme, and LSU's offensive system. Washington is scheduled to play Arizona and LSU next season.
Justin Wilcox - Wilcox just finished his second season at Tennessee under Derek Dooley. Before joining Dooley's staff, he made a name for himself at Boise State as the defensive coordinator. Wilcox played at Oregon and coached at Cal. He turned down an opportunity to join the Texas staff a year ago, but with the way things are going in Knoxville, Sark might be able to lure Wilcox with a big offer. Wilcox currently makes over $700,000 per year, but Washington has plenty of money.
Tyrone Nix - Tyrone Nix served as Houston Nutt's defensive coordinator the last four years at Ole Miss. Sark is best friends with Lane Kiffin and he is aware that Nix gave Kiffin fits in 2009 during the Rebels 42-17 win over Tennessee. It is also believed that Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made a run at Nix two years ago for a position.
Other candidates: Rocky Seto (Seattle Seahawks - assistant defensive backs coach), Chuck Heater (Temple - defensive coordinator), Craig Bray (Former Arizona State defensive coordinator), and several other NFL assistants.
Don't be surprised if former Yale head coach Tom Williams and former Texas Tech defensive coordinator Chad Glascow interview with Sarkisian for assistant positions. It's also likely Tampa Bay Bucs defensive line coach Grady Stretz will be a candidate for a position.
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