UCLA football: Bruins talk to Steve Sarkisian about coaching vacancy
Washington football Coach Steve Sarkisian, a former assistant coach at USC, has been approached by UCLA, according to people familiar with the situation who are not authorized to speak publicly on the subject.
Thus far, those efforts have fallen on deaf ears, as the Huskies’ coach remains committed to staying at Washington.
Washington officials would neither confirm nor deny whether UCLA has asked for permission to speak to the Huskies’ coach.
Sarkisian was busy recruiting this past week. He posted a “woof” message on Twitter Thursday, which he does whenever he receives an oral commitment from a recruit.
Whether UCLA has enough money and infrastructure to interest Sarkisian remains unknown. UCLA is believed to have offered Boise State’s Chris Petersen a contract that would have paid nearly $4 million per season. Bruins’ officials have also said they would renovate the football program’s practice facilities.
But Sarkisian is not wanting at Washington. The university will begin a $250-million renovation of its on-campus football stadium, which includes a football operations building.
Sarkisian signed a contract extension in January that paid him $2.25 million this past season and would rise to $2.85 in 2015. The deal also includes a $2.5-million buyout if Sarkisian left during the first two years of the contract.
Sarkisian, 37, would be the “big splash” hire that Athletic Director Dan Guerrero sought to energize a flagging fan base. He took over a Washington program that was winless in 2008. The Huskies went 5-7 in 2009, 7-6 in 2010 and were 7-5 this past season. Washington defeated Nebraska, 19-7, in the 2010 Holiday Bowl and will play Baylor in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.
-- Chris Foster
Photo: Steve Sarkisian. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images