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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 8, 2008 at 11:55 AM

First thoughts on Sarkisian press conference

Well, Steve Sarkisian won the press conference.
Now we’ll see if he can win any games.
But there was no question what a stark difference there was in the atmosphere at the press conference today and the program the last four years, from the manner in which Sarkisian ably handled every question to the partylike setting of the whole affair.
I’ll have more as the day goes on, but a few quick notes to pass along first:
— Here’s our on-line story with some nuts and bolts on today’s proceedings.
— Sarkisian said he will hire a new strength coach, saying the team has to get leaner and more fit.
— He said he will not rush to fill out his staff, saying he’d rather make sure he gets the best coaches.
— He said he will immediately begin work on recruiting, but there will likely not be any official visits from players until January.
— He will work on recruiting and other UW matters for most of the next week or so before focusing his attention on USC’s Rose Bowl. He said he feels he owes it to USC to finish out the season there and also that Christmas is a dead period for recruiting so it won’t impact efforts in that way. He said on Jan. 2, he will become the full-time Husky coach.
— The school released initial details of his contract. His guaranteed annual compensation is as follows: $1.75 million in 2009, $1.85 million in 2010, $2 million in 2011, $2.1 million in 2012, and $2.3 milliion in 2013.
— He has possible on-field incentives each year of up to $1.25 million, which includes $500,000 for winning the national championship, $400,000 for getting into a BCS bowl, $350,000 for winning the Pac-10 title and $150,000 for any bowl appearance.
— He has incentives related to academic performance that can reach up to $250,000 a year.
— His buyout for accepting another job is $3 million the first year and decreases to $1.5 million by year five.
— If he is fired at any time during the contract, he will receive 60 percent of the guaranteed total compensation that is remaining on the contract up to 24 months.
— He has not yet signed his full contract but has signed a “memorandum of understanding offer.” He did that yesterday and it made his official hire date today.
— He said he plans for practices to be open to media, boosters and whomever. He says he’d like for the program to be as open as possible, something that received a rousing cheer from those in attendance.
— He said he won’t try to poach away any of USC’s current recruits.
— He said he will evaluate whether to honor all of UW’s current commits but said it is likely that he will.
— He said he will meet with all of UW’s current assistants but that he has not done so yet, so he can’t speculate on whom he may or may not retain.
— He said it is possible there will be a USC assistant or two who will come with him.
— He said he is unsure of a defensive scheme. As for offense, he said it will look similar to what USC has done but he will tweak it to take advantage of Jake Locker.
More later.

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