In a surprise move, USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has been named head coach at the University of Washington. The hiring won't excite Husky fans who expected the school to go with an established head coach with experience in building a football program.
Washington passed on Fresno State's Pat Hill and Big 12 coach of the year Mike Leach, who withdrew today after Washington apparently told them they had filled the position.
Sarkisian's coaching career began in 2000, when he returned to El Camino Junior College as Quarterbacks Coach.
He then joined his former coach Norm Chow at USC (Chow was hired as USC's Offensive Coordinator in 2001). Sarkisian first worked as an Offensive Assistant (2001), then as Quarterbacks Coach (2002 and 2003). He was partly responsible for the success enjoyed by Trojan QBs Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart (both developed into Heisman Trophy winners).
In 2004, Sarkisian served as Quarterbacks Coach for the Oakland Raiders. He returned to USC for the 2005 season, now with the title of Assistant Head Coach (in addition to his duties as Quarterbacks Coach).
In January 2007, Sarkisian interviewed with the Oakland Raiders for their vacant Head Coach position but pulled himself out of the running and decided to stay at USC. Sarkisian was named to replace Lane Kiffin as USC's Offensive Coordinator when Kiffin took the head coaching job of the Oakland Raiders.