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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

January 2, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Huskies hire Wilcox and Sirmon

According to several reports, the Huskies have hired Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon away from Tennessee to fill two key spots on their defensive staff.

Both were working at Tennessee and the news was first reported by ESPN.com, among other outlets. Other sources have since confirmed both reports to the Times.

Both Sirmon and Wilcox are former players at Oregon and Sirmon is a native of Walla Walla, where he played before attending Oregon.

The hires come two days after UW gutted its defensive coaching staff, firing coordinator Nick Holt, safeties coach Jeff Mills and linebackers coach Mike Cox.

Wilcox will be UW’s new defensive coordinator after serving in that same capacity at Tennessee the past two years.

UW still has two other coaching spots to fill on its defensive staff as cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin has also left, for UCLA.

Here is the bio of Wilcox and that of Sirmon.

Here is the game-by-game glance last season for the Vols.

As detailed in Wilcox’s Tennessee bio:
“Wilcox came to Knoxville from Boise State, where for the previous four seasons he served as defensive coordinator and helped the Broncos blast their way into the elite of college football. In 2009, Boise State completed a perfect 14-0 season with a Fiesta Bowl victory over TCU. That victory lifted Boise State’s record to 49-4 in four seasons with Wilcox at the defensive helm under head coach Chris Petersen.
Wilcox, 34, made his mark on the national defensive rankings in 2009, guiding the Broncos to a No. 14 statistical finish in both total defense and scoring defense and a No. 3 showing in turnover margin. Boise State bookended the season with two of its most impressive victories, clamping down on Pac-10 Conference champion Oregon 19-8 to start the year and then closing with the 17-10 triumph over previously undefeated TCU at the Fiesta Bowl.

The Broncos of 2008 were nearly as tough, finishing 12-1 and winning their second Western Athletic Conference title in three seasons. Wilcox’s defense ranked third nationally in scoring, allowing just 12.6 points per game and holding eight of its 13 opponents to 10 points or fewer.

Boise State led the WAC in total defense and scoring defense all four seasons under Wilcox. Wilcox coached six seasons overall in Boise, also working as a graduate assistant for the Broncos from 2001-02. Among his prized stalwarts were defensive end Ryan Winterswyk and defensive back Kyle Wilson, both of whom twice earned All-WAC first team nods.

In both 2007 and 2006, the Broncos also led the WAC in rushing defense. Boise State was eighth nationally against the run during Wilcox’s debut season as defensive coordinator, and his overall defensive scheme was instrumental in helping that 2006 squad to a 13-0 record and the now-famous 43-42 overtime win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

Before returning to Boise State as defensive coordinator, Wilcox spent three seasons (2003-05) at California as linebackers coach. Wilcox was credited with turning his linebackers into a unit that epitomized the Cal defense’s swarm-to-the-ball philosophy, and the Bears went to three straight bowls and combined for a 26-12 record.

The Junction City, Ore., native played collegiately at Oregon from 1995-99 and was a part of four teams that advanced to bowl games. He played in the 1997 Las Vegas, 1998 Aloha and 1999 Sun bowls. He redshirted in 1995 when Oregon participated in the Cotton Bowl. His first three years were spent at safety before he moved to cornerback as a senior in 1999 and claimed All-Pac-10 second-team honors. Wilcox earned his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Oregon in 1999.

Wilcox is the son of Dave Wilcox, All-Pro linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.”

And as for Sirmon, last year was his first as a full-time assistant. As detailed in his bio:
“Sirmon brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Vols. The seven-year NFL veteran spent 2009 as a graduate assistant at Oregon, his alma mater.
Oregon won the Pacific-10 Conference title that year and played in the Rose Bowl after compiling a 10-2 regular season mark. Sirmon’s coaching input helped the Ducks lead the Pacific-10 Conference in sacks that season with nearly three per game.
Prior to a stint with the Ducks, Sirmon served as coach for the linebackers and kickoff coverage teams at Central Washington. It was his first coaching position since retiring from the NFL.
The Wildcats compiled a 10-1 regular season record that year and advanced to the NCAA Division II football playoffs.
Sirmon’s playing days saw the Wenatchee, Wash., native selected by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He spent his entire seven-year career playing linebacker in Nashville.
An All-Pac-10 performer, Sirmon was a four-year starter and letterwinner at Oregon from 1996-99. During his time in Eugene, Sirmon was a part of 30 Ducks wins.
A teammate and roomate from his Oregon days was Justin Wilcox, Tennessee’s second-year defensive coordinator.
“Justin and I have a really strong relationship,” Sirmon says. “I think we can both talk frankly with each other and understand that it’s work.”
Sirmon and his wife, Lindsay, have four children: Jackson, 11; Presley, 9; Savanna, 8; and Sadie, 5.”

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