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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 28, 2007 at 3:48 PM

Baggett officially introduced

New UW receivers coach Charlie Baggett and head coach Tyrone Willingham talked with the media a short awhile ago on a teleconference to announce Baggett’s hiring.
“You don’t know how good I feel about this,” Baggett said.
Baggett said he had about five interviews with NFL teams after losing his job with the Dolphins when Nick Saban left for Alabama — and that he also had a chance to go with Saban to the Crimson Tide. He said he initially wanted to stay in the NFL to reach his maximum pension level at 15 years.
But after awhile, he said he grew impatient and called Willingham and said he was eager to come to UW. The two quickly worked it out.
The two have known each other since their college days playing QB together at Michigan State. They first became acquainted with each other in their native North Carolina, attending high schools that were about 90 miles apart — the two played each other one year with Baggett’s team apparently winning big.
The two were suitemates for two years at MSU.
But both said their relationship helped but wasn’t the only reason Baggett was hired at UW.
“I’ve always said this — I never hire a friend first,” Willingham said. “And that’s important to me. In this case, what I looked at first was his ability to help our program and really be a dynamic person within the structure of the things we do. There was no question in my mind that all of the criteria I look for in a coach he met. Once that was in place, it was easy because he is a friend, a person I’ve respected and looked up to during the years.”
Said Baggett: “Even as close as we are, if I wasn’t a good football coach, Tyrone Willingham wouldn’t hire me.”
Baggett has been an assistant at the major college level for 20 years and in the NFL for 10, coaching the likes of Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Antonio Freeman and Andre Rison.
“I not only coached them, but I learned a lot of football from them,” he said, adding he hopes to be able to pass that on now to his new charges with the Huskies.
Baggett hasn’t coached at the college level since 1998 when he was at Michigan State and said one thing he’s looking forward to in his return is that “there’s nothing like the campus atmosphere on game day.”
Baggett said he had little real familiarity with the Huskies, but he did coach against them at least once as UW beat Michigan State in the 1997 Aloha Bowl, 51-23.
Baggett said he toured the area on a visit to his wife’s first cousin, who lives in Everett, a few years ago. He also said he has visited his former coaching colleague Mike Tice, who has a house in Gig Harbor.
— In other news, Willingham said there will likely be some resolution to Michael Houston’s status with the Huskies by the end of the weekend. He wouldn’t elaborate.
— Willingham said he wanted to hold off talking about graduate assistants so he didn’t comment on the expected hiring of Luke Huard.
— Willingham said Carl Bonnell is “recovering well” from off-season shoulder surgery and should be available for spring ball, which begins April 9. “He should be fullly able to go,” Willingham said.
— Willingham said there were no other personnel comings or goings.
FYI — This was moved from the basketball blog, where it was mistakenly placed due to operator error (sorry).

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