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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 8, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Bye week answers, volume one

I’ll begin by noting that I received about 30 different versions of “can you provide a list of possible candidates to become the next head coach?”
Admittedly, it feels a little unseemly to begin discussing the next coach before the current one is gone.
But ultimately, my responsibility here is to you, the readers, and it appears to be about all most of you want to talk about.
So here goes with an early list of some possible candidates:
Gary Pinkel, Missouri. Sure, it seems really unlikely he would come given his current success at Mizzou and the fact that he has a contract through 2012 paying him a possible $2.38 million a year if he meets all incentives. He also has a $1 million buyout if he leaves in 2008. And given the fact that Mizzou could be in a Jan. 1-type bowl, this seems like a year he’d be unlikely to move anywhere. But given his ties to the Huskies and to Don James, UW has to at least try with Pinkel and get a concrete “no” before moving on.
Jeff Tedford, Cal. Another one that seems really unlikelygiven that he has a contract through 2013 that could pay him more than $4 million a year by the end of it if he reaches all incentives and reportedly contains a clause saying that he can’t work at any other Pac-10 school during the life of the deal. But he’s another one that UW at least probably has to make sure isn’t a possibility before moving on. Word is the current powers in charge at UW (Mark Emmert and Scott Woodward) tried hard to get Tedford interested in 2004 when the school instead hired Tyrone Willingham, but Tedford wasn’t interested then.
Chris Peterson, Boise State. Money-wise, this is one that’s a lot more doable. Peterson reportedly has a contract through the 2010 season paying him $4.25 million over five years with a buyout of $750,000 this year. Word in Boise has long been that Peterson really likes it there where he’s about as out-of-the-spotlight as can be while still being a BCS-contending school. But lots of guys leave when no one locally thinks they are going to. Another one you’d think the Huskies have to at least inquire about.
Pat Hill, Fresno State. Hill has long been thought enamored with the UW job, reportedly showing interest in 2004. Hill is reported to make $1.25 million a year on a contract that runs through 2010, and there have already been published rumors linking him to the UW job this time around. He obviously has long experience on the West Coast so he’d already know the recruiting landscape. He turns 57 in December.
Lane Kiffin, fired from Raiders. Another who has already been linked to the job in a number of stories. He’s out of work, so he’d obviously be interested in any major coaching job that comes open and given his Pac-10 experience at USC he’d surely be interested in UW. But you wonder if UW might not want more of a proven commodity.
Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator, Texas. One thing to think about in any hire is who it is doing the hiring and who they might know. Muschamp is an obvious to be on any list since he was the defensive coordinator at LSU in 2003 when the Tigers won the national title during a time Emmert and Woodward were running the show there. Muschamp has made it clear he’d like to be a head coach someday and his name has already been linked with other possible openings this year such as Clemson. Given the critical nature of hiring the right guy, you’d think the Huskies will likely try to go after a slam-dunk sure thing, however, and not take a chance on an assistant. But if they go the assistant route, Muschamp would seem at the top of that list.
Dave Christensen, offensive coordinator, Missouri. Christensen is one of the other hot assistant coaches in the country and makes more sense in this case since he played at UW as a walk-on OL from 1980-82 and grew up in Everett. He also has made it clear he’d like to be a head coach and threw his name in the hat for the WSU opening after last season. Is obviously doing a good job coaching an offense similar to what UW has been doing with Jake Locker.
Jim Grobe, Wake Forest. Has done a nice job winning at a tough place to win and is thought to be making only $1.2 million a year. But he doesn’t have any West Coast experience.
Steve Mariucci. Now working for the NFL Network. Out of coaching for a few years and who knows what interest he would have, and vice versa.
Kyle Whittingham, Utah. A hot name, but likely hard to budge since he has so many tieis to the state of Utah. But maybe he’d be enticed by money as he’s rumored to be making only $700,000 a year.
Steve Sarkisian, offensive coordinator, USC. Another hot young assistant whose undoubtedly interested in moving up. But seems pretty unproven for what UW needs.
Jim Mora, Seahawks coach in waiting. Until the day the Huskies hire a new coach his name will be out there. But seems really unlikely given the deal he has with the Seahawks, rumored to pay him $5 million a year.
Mike Holmgren, Seahawks. Another popular rumor has Holmgren simply moving across the lake once this season is done. Stranger things have happened.
Nick Saban, Alabama. Emmert and Woodward hired him once, so maybe they’d at least put in a call to try again. But another idea that seems really unlikely.
Bronco Mendenhall, BYU. Seems really entrenched in Provo and unlikely to move but probably worth a call. Rumored to be making only $650,000 a year.
Derek Dooley, Louisiana Tech. Was special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at LSU under Nick Saban, also coaching running backs for a year, so is known to Emmert and Woodward. But is in only his second season as a head coach so doesn’t have a real proven track record.
Back later with a round of future-coach-free answers.

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