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Top 13 of 2013 - #1: Pat Haden

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The decisions of Pat Haden made in 2013 will have long lasting deep consequences for UW's football program.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Yes, that Pat Haden. The one who is the USC Athletic Director.

Haden set into action in late September the events that would ultimate lead to the reshaping of the future of the University of Washington football program, and allow UW Athletic Director Scott Woodward to make what may be the most significant (and best) hire since Joseph Kearney brought a guy by the name of Don James out from the midwest to take over the program.

He fired Lane Kiffin. This is a move that most athletic directors would have made (though most probably would have waited a little longer, or at least not done it in a parking lot), and it was hardly something that was unexpected even before USC had played a game in 2013. But once he pulled that trigger, the hole he created at the top of USC's football program had to be filled, and you'd think that USC -- one of the top 5 jobs in all of college football -- would have had guys kicking down the door to take over.

However, Haden decided to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, and kept with USC's incestuous tradition of hiring a "USC guy". Haden felt the best candidate was a coach with a career 34-29 record and never a better finish in conference play than 3rd. But he coached at USC under Pete Carroll, so I guess you overlook that, and give him the keys to a job he doesn't yet seem qualified for.

USC's gain was Washington's loss was Washington's gain. The Huskies were able to fill their head coaching vacancy with a coach holding the best win percentage of any active head coach (88.5%) and the only ever two time winner of the Bear Bryant Award for national coach of the year. A hiring that was universally lauded as one of the best -- and probably the best -- of the 2013 coaching carousel.

Pat Haden's bungling of 2013 USC head coaching search alleviated the Huskies of coach who still had a lot of question marks around him, and replaced him with one of the most respected football coaches alive. Pat Haden gave us Chris Petersen.

Thanks, Pat.