Washington football: Potential candidates to replace Steve Sarkisian

Five possible candidates to replace Sarkisian at Washington

12/3/13 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   410 respect

Steve Sarkisian has accepted a head coaching position with USC, so now it’s up to Washington athletic director Scott Woodward to find a viable replacement.

Here are five potential candidates for the Huskies’ vacancy.

1. Chris Petersen, HC, Boise State Blog Photo - Washington football: Potential candidates to replace Steve Sarkisian

With a 92-12 overall record, Petersen has the highest winning percentage (.885) in Division-1A history—and that includes his team’s struggles this season at 8-4. For some reason, he’s turned down multiple offers every single year—the eye-opener being USC earlier today. Petersen is king in Boise, so Washington would have to go all-in to get his attention—but his connection with the area as a Cali kid has to count for something.

2. Doug Nussmeier, OC, Alabama

Probably the safest and most sensible pick would be Nussmeier, who spent 2009-11 as Washington’s offensive coordinator under Sarkisian. He currently serves as the OC for Alabama and was a huge asset to the Crimson Tide’s national championship run last season. Typically anyone who serves under Saban for a little while deserves a shot as a head coaching position, and this would be an excellent fit for both parties.

3. Jim Mora, HC, UCLA

Mora has done an unbelievable job turning around UCLA in two short years, playing in the Pac-12 Championship last season and beating crosstown rival USC twice already. It would seem a little farfetched for him to leave for Washington, right? Not really. Mora is a University of Washington graduate, the former coach of the Seattle Seahawks (2009) and has gushed over the city of Seattle time and time again, stating that he would leave an NFL job to coach the Huskies. It would be a bit odd, but this could definitely happen.

4. Tim DeRuyter, HC, Fresno State

A Long Beach native, DeRuyter has led Fresno State to 20 wins in just two seasons (and two games remaining). However, with BCS chances shot and quarterback Derek Carr heading to the NFL, it will be difficult for DeRuyter to get the Bulldogs back to a premium level in a short matter. This could be his prime opportunity to move up.

5. Jim McElwain, HC, Colorado State

The connection between Woodward and McElwain is a little stretched, but alluring in many ways. Woodward was the assistant AD at LSU from 2000-to-2004 and understands Nick Saban’s style of coaching/mentoring. McElwain was the offensive coordinator for Saban from 2008-11 and won a few rings, and has taken the Bama blueprints to Colorado State, where he has the Rams bowling in 2013.

Also in the mix: Justin Wilcox (Washington DC); James Franklin (HC, Vanderbilt); Ed Orgeron (former USC asst.); Mike Norvell (OC, Arizona State).


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12/2/13   |   Dan_B   |   1066 respect

A few others: 1. Gary Pinkel (worked at Washington for 12 years; stock couldn't be higher than now). 2. Justin Wilcox (I know reports are that he is headed to USC with Sarkisian, but a head coaching gig could change his mind).