With the confirmation that USC defensive coordinator Nick Holt is headed to or in Seattle today the assistant coaching sweepstakes at Washington ratchetted up a couple of notches in the salary scale.
Since Holt is in Seattle we all have to assume he is serious about taking the job so what it all comes down to is how much Washington is willing to pay him. That is where it gets sticky because he already makes more than the UW OC who is being paid in the neighborhood of $350,000 per year.
If UW agrees to pay Holt $500,000 or more it usually means they have to give OC Jim Michalczik close to the same amount of money.
One of the interesting things in this story is that Holt has a reservation at the same UW district hotel that Sarkisian does and the reservation is for two weeks. Expect Holt not to return to Southern California if he takes the job. If Holt does go back home it means that UW was not succesful in luring him away from USC.
Why would Holt leave USC?
It all comes down to more responsibility and credit than he is getting working under Pete Carroll. Pete gets most of the credit for the defense down there and rightly so because he calls most of the shots and designs the schemes. If Holt comes to UW he will have complete charge of the defense.
Holt aspires to be a head coach again one of these days and turning around the Washington defense out of the shadow of Pete Carroll would be a good ticket to getting that opportunity.
Holt's wife is also from the Pacific Northwest. She was an assistant basketball coach at Idaho when they met. So this might be the type of move that works out great for both of them.
In other coaching news Washington suddenly has some big time competition for QB coach Scot Loeffler who was recently fired by the Detroit Lions in a coaching staff purge. Loeffler has been offered the same position at Florida.
Washington basketball fans were relieved that the Huskies broke a seven game losing streak to WSU on Saturday.
What did it prove?
It proves Washington is better than Washington State and that they probably won't be battling Oregon State, Arizona, and WSU for a position in the Pac 10 cellar this season.
Five teams from the Pac 10 are likely to make it to the Big Dance this year. UW needs to crack the upper division to accomplish that.
The true test on how good this team is starts later this week when Stanford and California invade Seattle. If the Huskies want to make some noise in the Pac 10 this season they need to sweep this series. The Cardinal opened the season with a 76-60 win over Arizona and a surprising 90-60 loss to #17 Arizona State. The Tree is 11-1 on the season.
The surprising California Golden Bears (13-2) defeated Arizona 69-55 and knocked off 17th ranked ASU 81-71 to start the Pac 10 season undefeated at home.
Up next after this series is a trip to the Willamette Valley to play the Oregon schools. If UW can open this first part of the season (5-0) or (4-1) they should be in good shape to finish in the upper division and make the tournament.