One of the nicer features of www.GoHuskies.com is the ability to watch most of the press conferences live over the Internet. In the days of Tyrone it gave a guy like me back in Chicago just as much access as the rest of the media members who had to trudge down to Montlake. That of course all changes this year with Sarkisian who is going to open up most of the practices to everyone starting this spring.
Lets start it off with one word AWESOME!
Holt used that word over and over again to describe the opportunity to work with Steve Sarkisian and the University of Washington. What comes across is that both of these are very close and have lot of confidence in their abilities without coming off the least bit conceited. These are the type of guys that you wouldn't mind having a beer with.
Personality wise Holt is exactly the type of guy you want leading your defense. You can tell that the kids will just run through walls for him. His personality is electric and he is a dedicated teacher who knows exacty what he wants. I came away very impressed with him. He is exactly what a team that lacks passion and energy needs.
Holt didn't come cheap. Washington has agreed to pay him a three-year contract worth $600,000 in the first year and $650,000 in the second and third years. He also will receive a $200,000 retention bonus, payable to him up front, but would have to be returned all or in part, on a sliding scale, if he were to leave before the end of the contract. So in total, it's a three-year deal worth $2.1 million or obviously, $700,000 a year. That makes Nick Holt one of the highest paid assistants in the country.
Job number one for these guys is to coach up the players they have to take it to a higher level. Job number two is to bring in some recruits for 2009 that will help make an immediate impact.
Obviously at this stage of the game Washington will have to mainly rely on the players that are currently in the program. Holt says he needs to get to know them and gain their trust. After that there will be a lot of teaching to do because last years defensive numbers simply won't cut it if Washington wants to be competitive.
One thing for sure is there will be hitting in practice every single day. They are going to teach these kids to tackle. They are going to teach them not to get beat long. They are also going to import the Pete Carroll system of defense to Washington. Think of the Huskies as USC North over the next couple of years as they recruit and get their systems and schemes established.
USC North isn't exactly a bad thing when you factor in that they have won seven straight conference championship. They both talked about how exciting it was to be in the Rose Bowl last week, They also talked about the fact that they were going to return to Pasadena sooner than later wearing Purple and Gold.
If you are Husky fan this was a huge day because it once again cements the fact that Washington just may have ended up hiring the best possible man for the job in Steve Sarkisian. He just keeps impressing me every single time he steps to the microphone.
It won't be long till the words "Bow Down to Washington" start meaning something again.