Here’s another set of answers:
Q: Who hires and fires the strength coach? Will the new coach be able to bring his own person in?
A: Technically, the hire is made by the AD. But the strength coach has always changed within a year or so of a new coach being hired at UW, meaning that if the new coach doesn’t directly make the hire, he has heavy input and it doesn’t happen without his okay. So it would be no surprise if there is a change made in that department after a new coach is hired.
Q: To expand on the question about the kick block team against WSU, why was there no push from the line or no one coming off the edge? When a kicker has three stutter steps you have no reason to not get a hand on the ball let alone not even get close to blocking the kick.
A: A few people have speculated that there were only 10 players on the field for the kick that sent the game into OT. I haven’t seen a wide enough replay view to confirm that. But I would also say that the stutter steps appeared to happen before the snap, so they didn’t necessarily slow down the kick, I don’t think. Also, those short kicks are hard to block. And UW hasn’t been much good of late at blocking kicks — UW hasn’t blocked one all year and hasn’t since the Ohio State last year. I think it’s just like everything else — this is an 0-11 team that isn’t really all that good at any phase of the game.
Q: On the issue of kickers, there are four undergrad kickers including Erik Folk on the team. If you watch the warm-ups at Husky Stadium you will see that for next year we have a talented kicking crew that has been improving with time. Should be great competition at this spot.
A: Hopefully so. One thing I always caution is that being a good kicker is about more than just having a strong leg. Getting it off quickly and with the proper timing under pressure is also a big part of it. Folk also hasn’t been healthy the last two years so he has to get well first. The other kickers are all walk-ons, which doesn’t mean they can’t do the job just that a new coach may want to go get a scholarship guy. One part about not seeing practice is that we never got to see enough of the other kickers to know if they were making the right decision there, or not. Kicking is definitely kind of a prove-it deal. Lots of guys look good in practice and then duck-hook them under the pressure of the game. So it will remain something of an unknown for UW next year until games start and someone starts making them.
Q: It is my understanding that after Dec. 6 we will be without a head coach. If a hiring is not announced by the following Monday (Dec. 9), do you know what the interim plan is to keep the program functioning? I know that the existing coaching staff will be retained through June 2009 but it seems to me you need to have someone in charge. Has Scott Woodward talked about the transition period?
A: You basically answered your question with the notation that the existing staff will stay in place until a new coach is hired. Those guys will be entrusted with keeping things going until a new staff is in place. Woodward has already laid out the recruiting plan — all existing offers and commits will be honored and the current staff is to at least keep contact with those guys. I really don’t think the coaching search is going to go on much past that week so I don’t think it’s a huge issue. The key thing is that the new staff hit the ground running in recruiting, something that didn’t appear to happen in 2005.
Q: Statistically, is Tyrone Willingham the worst coach in UW history?
A: Yes. His record is now 11-36, a winning percentage of 23 percent. The only UW coach with a worse percentage is Leonard Allison, but there should be an asterisk by his record as he coached just six games, going 1-5 in 1920. Allison later coached at Cal where he’s regarded as one of the top coaches in school history.
All for now.
Here’s another set of answers:
The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.