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December 27, 2013 at 10:35 AM

UW’s Justin Wilcox expected to follow Steve Sarkisian to USC

UW coach Steve Sarkisian and assistant coaches Marcus Tuiasosopo (left) and Justin Wilcox react to an Oregon touchdown in the fourth quarter Saturday at Husky Stadium. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

UW coach Steve Sarkisian and assistant coaches Marcus Tuiasosopo (left) and Justin Wilcox react to an Oregon touchdown in the fourth quarter Saturday at Husky Stadium. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is expected to join Steve Sarkisian‘s staff at USC, a source has told The Seattle Times.

Bruce Feldman of CBSports.com reports that Wilcox will be named USC’s defensive coordinator after UW plays in the Fight Hunger Bowl tonight.

Wilcox, 37, is the highest-paid assistant coach in the Pac-12 Conference, making about $800,000 a year. He has $1 million buyout in his UW contract, which was complicating his move to USC, a source said. It is unknown, however, if new UW coach Chris Petersen had offered Wilcox a chance to stay at UW.

Wilcox, then 29, got his first job as a coordinator under Petersen at Boise State in 2006. Wilcox and close friend Peter Sirmon, UW’s linebackers coach, came to UW from Tennessee in January 2012 and helped turn around a defense than ranked 106th in the nation in 2011. The Huskies ranked 31st in total defense in 2012.

Sirmon has already joined Sarkisian’s staff at USC.

Petersen is expected to bring at least seven Boise State assistant coaches to Seattle: defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, linebackers coach Bob Gregory, secondary coach Jimmy Lake, quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith, wide receivers coach Brent Pease, running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Keith Bhonapha and offensive line coach Chris Strausser.

No formal announcements have been made about UW’s new staff.

Marques Tuiasosopo, UW’s interim coach for the bowl game, said he will make a decision on his future after the bowl game. A source has said Tuiasosopo has been offered the job as UW’s tight ends coach on Petersen’s staff.

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