When Jim Mora was out of a job and hobbling around the Seattle area on one good knee, Washington coach Steve Sarkisian would leave the door open, so to speak, for the former UW walk-on.
“You’re always welcome,” Sarkisian would tell Mora.
Mora, fired after going 5-11 as head coach of the Seahawks in 2009, said he never wanted to be a distraction for Sarkisian, but he did spend considerable time around the UW athletic department for about six months in 2011.
“I had gotten fired from the Seahawks, was doing TV work and I tore my knee up skiing up at Crystal (Mountain),” Mora explained in a conference call Tuesday.
UW athletic director Scott Woodward — “a guy I’m good friends with,” Mora said — offered Mora use of UW’s training facilities for rehab on his knee. “So I started going over there every day — five days a week, three hours a day for about six months.”
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And here’s more on Mora from Bud Withers:
“If that job’s open, you’ll find me at the head of the line with my resume in hand ready to take that job,” Mora said on KJR-AM back in 2006 in an interview with hosts Dave Mahler and Hugh Millen.
How invested was Mora in Washington? Well, he was a walk-on player at UW in some big years in the early 1980s. His dad Jim worked with and for Don James, which brought the families so close together the younger Mora was babysat by James’ elder daughter Jill, and in turn, Jim later baby-sat the James’ younger daughter, Jeni.
Mora’s wife Shannon is a former UW cheerleader, and earlier this fall, when he hatched a surprise 50th birthday party for her, the site was downtown Seattle, not Los Angeles.
Tuesday, Mora did his best to hose off the old controversy. He said on the Pac-12 teleconference call that his words in that radio interview were “a joke. It wasn’t in any way, shape or form serious.”
Mora added that the Huskies “have never approached me.”