BY SPNW Staff 12:53PM 01/16/2012

Huskies add top recruiter, lose Nussmeier

One of the West Coast’s best recruiters has been hired away from a Pac-12 rival to complete Steve Sarkisians football coaching staff.

Complete — or it least it was for a minute. According to multiple reports Monday, offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is leaving Washington to take the same job with national champion Alabama.

Nussmeier will be the fifth coach to leave Washington, and the first from the offensive side, after three years of staff stability. Head coach Steve Sarkisian is the primary playcaller, but said earlier this week on KJR radio that he would grant Nussmeier playcalling autonomy if that’s what it took to keep him. Obviously, it wasn’t enough.

Meanwhile, Tosh Lupoi, the defensive line coach at Cal the past four years, was announced Monday as the D-line coach and defensive run-game coordinator.

Tosh Lupoi / University of California

“Coach Lupoi is a terrific young coach and a dynamic recruiter,” Sarkisian said in a statement released by the school. “He will have an immediate impact with our team both on the field and in recruiting.”

Lupoi was the youngest coach on ESPN.com’s list of top 25 recruiters in 2011. A good background story is here.

Greg Biggins of ESPN.com tweeted Thursday that Sarkisian offered Lupoi a position on his staff, but Lupoi declined.

“They tried, but he’s happy at Cal,” Biggins wrote, adding, “They’re still trying, haven’t thrown the kitchen sink in yet, I guess.”

Lupoi was the youngest full-time coach in Cal history when he joined the staff at the age of 26 in 2008 and remained the youngest Pac-10 coach for two more seasons. He was associated with Cal football for 12 years, having spent six as a Golden Bear player (2000-05, including an extra season due to the granting of a medical redshirt), two as a graduate assistant (2006-07) and four as D-line coach.

Cal’s 2011 defense ranked No. 1 overall in the Pac-12 Conference. They gave a conference best 332.9 yards per game, were third in total sacks(34), gave up the fewest first downs per game (17.4) and allowed the fewest passing yards per game (204.2).

The Bears’ 2010 defense also led the Pac-10 and ranked in the top 25 nationally in per-game averages for sacks (2.83 spg, No. 13), total defense (319.08 ypg, No. 18) and pass defense (187 ypg, No. 21). Cal was also first in the Pac-10 in first downs allowed (217) and second in opponents’ third down conversion percentage (34.7%). The team’s pass efficiency defense and scoring defense, which held opponents to 17 points or less in eight of 12 games, were both third in the Pac-10, as well as 31st and 40th nationally.


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