Nov 30, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins coach Jim Mora (right) celebrates with athletic director Dan Guerrero at the end of the game against the Southern California Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 Football: Sarkisian Officially Moves Back To USC Firing Up UW Rumors

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Official word from UW athletic director Scott Woodward bids a fond farewell to Steve Sarkisian. To the surpise of some, Sark will become the new head football coach at USC.

“On behalf of the University of Washington, I want to thank Steve Sarkisian for the past five years of service to our institution,” UW athletic director Scott Woodward said. “Steve has led the rebuilding of our program to new heights and we are in a much better position than when he arrived. I am happy for Steve and his family as they can return home and I wish them the best of luck in the future. 
“The search for Steve’s successor has already begun,” Woodward continued. “I will work hard in the coming days to find the absolute best fit for the University of Washington but I will not comment on or speculate about the process. We have tremendous tradition, fan base and a world-class institution, and I am confident we will find the right man. We will compete for Pac-12 and national championships and we will do so with class, integrity, sportsmanship and a commitment to our student-athletes. That promise is at the forefront of my mind as I embark on finding our next football coach.” 

–  Scott Woodward, UW athletic director

Let the rumors and speculation begin.

Who will take over the reins at Washington?

Many would suggest that UW alum and current UCLA head coach Jim Mora is the top candidate.

Mora got his rear end in a ringer years back when he said during an interview on Seattle’s KJR-AM that he would jump at the chance to be the head man at Washington. That verbal misstep may have cost Mora his NFL job and provided a learning lesson.

It’s a little hard to know what to believe. The Mora who made a slip of the tongue on the radio or the Mora who was jubilant and emotional about “his” team following their victory over the Trojans this past Saturday night.

“It’s an exciting time at UCLA, man. It’s an exciting time to be a UCLA Bruin, man. You want to play for a fun, tough, hard-nosed football team that can win games anywhere? Come to UCLA.”

– Jim Mora, UCLA head coach

Another name being bantered about by several sources, including Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com, is Tim DeRuyter, currently the head coach at Fresno State. DeRuyter has guided the Bulldogs to a 10-1 record this season. The only loss for Fresno State this season came at the hands of SJSU last weekend in a 62-52 shootout. One component that makes DeRuyter’s coaching look great is the performance of one of the top college quarterbacks, Derek Carr.

A logical replacement for Sark would be Justin Wilcox, the current defensive coordinator at Washington. Before going very far with that thought, it’s likely there will be an announcement forthcoming that Wilcox will join Sarkisian at USC. Then again, if he were to get a call from Woodward you better believe he’d listen.

Stay tuned as this story unfolds…

 

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Tags: Football Jim Mora Pac-12 Steve Sarkisian Washington State Cougars

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