BY SPNW Staff 04:45AM 01/23/2012

UW Commits $2.73 Million To Football Assistants

Athletic director Scott Woodward says $2.73 million for UW’s assistant football coaches “is a prudent investment” that gives the “biggest return to all Husky athletics.”

UW football coach Steve Sarkisian is ready to begin spring ball. / Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images

About an hour after Washington embarrassingly allowed 67 points and a school-record 777 yards in a 67-56 loss to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl, Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian went on the radio with Bob Rondeau and offered a glimpse of his program’s immediate future.

“Change is inevitable,” Sarkisian told Rondeau. “I do know this. We need to re-evaluate everything we do, starting with me. There is some interest in some guys on our (coaching) staff from other programs. We have to make sure the chemistry is right every time we take the field.”

Three days later, Sarkisian ousted defensive coordinator Nick Holt, linebackers coach Mike Cox and secondary coach Jeff Mills.

In the three weeks since the purge, Sarkisian has replenished his staff with five new hires and added to the job descriptions of his four holdover assistants.

The cost of conducting this business, aimed primarily at fixing a defense that allowed 35.9 points and 453.3 yards per game: $2.73 million, according to figures released by the Washington athletic department. That’s how much Washington is committing to Sarkisian’s nine underlings.

“These are some of the top coaches and best recruiters in the country, and the fact they (the five new assistants) have chosen to come to Washington is a credit to the remarkable job Coach Sarkisian has done with his program in his three seasons here,”  athletic director Scott Woodward said in a statement. “This is a desired destination on the national map.

“As we’ve done since Sark’s arrival, we are seeking and signing the nation’s best coaches, and we are willing and able to do it at market value. Our student-athletes deserve the best leaders and the best facilities to create the best environment to win championships.

“The expenditure on salaries for football’s assistant coaches is a prudent investment of that additional money from the Pac-12 new multimedia contract, into the program that gives the biggest return to all Husky athletes.”

The five new assistants will cost a combined $1.85 million in 2012. Three of the four holdover assistants received raises. Only Dan Cozzetto, Washington’s offensive line coach in 2012, did not receive a pay increase from his $300,000 annual salary.


Justin Wilcox (defensive coordinator): The 35-year-old Wilcox, who earned $700,000 last season as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator, will make $750,000 in 2012, including $350,000 in base pay and $400,000 in supplemental pay. His agreement with Washington calls for $800,000 guaranteed in 2013 and $850,000 in 2014.

Eric Kiesau (offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach): Forty-year-old comes to UW from California. He will make $375,000 this year, $400,000 in 2013 and $425,000 in 2014.

Tosh Lupoi (defensive line coach, run-game coordinator): $350,000 per year from 2012 through Feb. 6, 2015 (letter of intent day). It also calls for a one-time payment of $100,000 for the former defensive line coach at Cal. He could earn an additional $100,000 if he remains on staff through the agreement’s end date.

Peter Sirmon (linebackers coach): Former Oregon linebacker comes to UW from Tennessee. Sirmon agreed to a two-year deal, $225,000 in 2012 and $250,000 next year.

Keith Heyward (defensive backs coach): Previously the defensive backs coach at Oregon State, Heyward agreed to a two-year contract with guaranteed income of $150,000 in 2012 and $160,000 in 2013.


Johnny Nansen (assistant head coach, special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator): Nansen earned $165,000 in 2011 and will get $200,000 in 2012 and $225,000 in 2013.

Jimmie Dougherty (wide receivers coach, pass-game coordinator): Dougherty made $135,000 last year and will receive salary bumps to $190,000 in 2012 and $205,000 in 2013.

Joel Thomas (associate head coach for offense, running backs coach): Thomas will receive a raise from $160,008 to $190,000 in 2012 and to $205,000 in 2013.

Dan Cozzetto (offensive line coach, running-game coordinator): Cozzetto will not receive a raise from the $300,000 salary he made in 2012.


  • Anonymous

    WOW, the Washington Athletic Department has made some significant investments in the football program. I wish them well next season.

    George Bowser

  • TheSportsResume

    WOW, the Washington Athletic Department has made some significant investments in the football program. I wish them well next season.

    George Bowser

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you about Ichiro going after the longball a bit more, even at the risk of his batting average dropping…I’ve heard he’s got power in BP, too, although BP is a lot different than live pitching when they’re actually trying to get you out instead of grooving ‘em in.

    Still, as Rudman says, Ichiro isn’t going to change his approach.  He is the ultimate creature of habit, and (until last year) it’s worked extremely well for him.  He wants those 3,000 hits and uppercutting won’t get that done.  I’d love to see a rebound year because Ichiro’s the only one of four Hall of Fame players who has stayed loyal to Seattle and the Mariners: Griffey, Johnson and A-Rod all bailed one way or another, but Ichiro hasn’t. A happy medium will have to be reached between a team that won’t pay Ichiro what he’s been getting (I’m sure the M’s have gotten that money back through TV rights and merchandising in Japan) and a very proud player who doesn’t strike me as someone who’ll take kindly to lowball offers for 2013.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for taking the time to post a comment. I like your points and it will be interesting to see what happens with Ichiro this season.

  • One174

    ” faded, like a rotting melon, into an ordinary ballplayer”

    So Ichiro is a “rotting melon”, and when he rots he sinks to the level of an ordinary ballplayer? Steve, I think you have dipped into the simile bag once too often!

  • Wilburwatson

    Even at his prime Ichiro was perfectly suited for the mariners.  A statistical star on a loosing team.

  • Anonymous

    Grover: Thanks for your response, and I appreciate your input.

  • Anonymous

    You make excellent points and I would like to thank you for weighing in. I hope Ichiro proves me completely wrong and has a tremendous season. Thanks for visiting the web site.

  • Anonymous

    I take it you don’t collect bobble heads?