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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 13, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Coaching update

Nothing official yet on the hiring of Dan Cozzetto as UW’s new offensive line coach. But that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.
In fact, if you call the Arizona State football office today and ask for Cozzetto, you’ll be told that “coach Cozzetto is no longer on our staff” (I know because that’s what I did). So he’s officially left ASU (and he’s been spotted at UW today). So it’s probably just a crossing-all-the-T’s thing preventing the announcement of his arrival at Washington.
Cozzetto had been the tight ends coach at Arizona State.
He will be the O-line coach at UW, but any other responsibilities are still unclear. There has been some talk he could be given the title “running game coordinator.” QB coach Doug Nussmeier has already been given the title “passing game coordinator.” There has been some speculation Nussmeier might instead be named offensive coordinator, as well. However, whatever the titles, head coach Steve Sarkisian will have the ultimate say on the offense, as he has said he will call the plays.
This will be a return for Cozzetto, who was also UW’s O-line coach in 2003 under Keith Gilbertson (though he was hired by Rick Neuheisel, who was then fired in the summer of 2003).
Cozzetto was known as an old-school coach who liked to get the O-line up for group workouts at 6 a.m. in the offseason (which I detailed in this profile I wrote on Cozzetto in 2003).
Cozzetto was hired to help beef up an anemic running game, and it got a little better in 2003, from a school-record-low 74.5 rushing yards per game in 2002 to 119.5 in 2003. But the offense still revolved around the Cody Pickett-to-Reggie Williams passing attack. And 2003 was obviously a strange season with the mid-summer Neuheisel departure, which threw everything into chaos, so it’s hard to judge a lot of things that happened that season.
Like six other members of the staff, Cozzetto has previous experience at Idaho — he worked there from 1979-89 and again in 2005-2006 (here’s a good look at his resume).
During that second stint, he worked for a year under Nick Holt and also alongside a few UW’s new assistants, including Johnny Nansen, Jeff Mills and Joel Thomas, so there is an obvious familiarity that likely made coming back to UW easier.
For now, I will wait to re-run the list of assistants and responsibilities until this is announced.
HART TO NOTRE DAME? In other coaching news today, there are lots of message board reports emanating out of Notre Dame that former UW defensive line coach Randy Hart could be named as the new D-line coach at Notre Dame next week.
UPDATEIrishEyes.com is now reporting that Hart will be hired at Notre Dame.
Hart spent 21 years at UW before being fired along with the rest of the staff after last season.
Notre Dame announced several other hires today (including one-time UW RB coach Tony Alford as RB coach). The only spot still open is for a D-line coach. The school has hired former player Bryant Young to be a graduate assistant to work with the defensive line.
Charlie Weis apparently wants to hire an experienced D-line coach to help groom Young. Hart has Midwest experience, having played and coached at Ohio State before coming West in 1988.
Here’s what Weis said today about the D-line job:
“Ultimately my game plan of hire changed when (Young) came in as a GA, because it changed from hiring a guy that will be here forever to hiring a guy that you can bring in here that is an experienced guy, that you can groom (Young) to potentially being our defensive line coach.” Weis said the announcement could come next week.
And it’s obviously worth pointing out that UW plays at Notre Dame in October, so Hart could get quickly reunited with some of his former players. In fact, it was also announced today that the UW-Notre Dame game will kick off at 3:30 Eastern time and be televised nationally on NBC.

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