And the Nominees Are In: University of Washington’s Sarkisian
You’ve heard of him? Yeah, I hadn’t either until late Monday night. Pete Roussel, the recognized authority on college coaching changes, wrote Monday that several people close to Steve Sarkisian’s current program say he is definitely a candidate at Arkansas.
So, let’s take a look at him. Sarkisian is in his fourth season as the head coach at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Sarkisian is only 38 years old and was born in Torrance, Calif. He played quarterback at Brigham Young and then had a short stint playing in the Canadian Football League.
He started his coaching career as the quarterbacks coach at El Camino College, then went on to be the quarterbacks coach at the University of Southern California.
Sarkisian left USC for a year to coach quarterbacks for the Oakland Raiders but quickly returned to his old job under Pete Carroll at USC.
He took over Lane Kiffin’s offensive coordinator duties at USC in 2007 and held that position for two years. In 2009, Sarkisian was named head coach at the University of Washington.
Sarkisian is under a contract with an increasing salary and is currently getting paid $2.25 million per year.
The Huskies under Sarkisian have had a winning record in three of his four seasons, going 5-7 in his first year in Seattle. However, that year is marked by a 16-13 Husky victory over No. 3 USC.
Sarkisian’s all-time record as a head coach is 26-24 but it should be noted that he inherited a tough situation at Washington and took a team that had not been bowl eligible since 2002 to two bowl games in his first three years.
Sarkisian is married and has three children. He is of Armenian and Irish mixed heritage and despite attending BYU, he is a Catholic.
Here’s a fun fact. Nick Holt is in charge of on-campus recruiting at Arkansas, and his previous job was as the defensive coordinator at the University of Washington under Sarkisian.
Holt’s not the only recent Southeastern Conference import from Seattle. In January of 2012, Alabama hired former Washington offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier to be the offensive coordinator in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Sarkisian has been crucial to recent major renovations to Husky Stadium and he claims it will now be one of the best stadiums in the country.
Sarkisian is known as a great offensive mind and a superb recruiter. He is young and energetic and different from what the SEC is generally accustomed to. I think he would be a great hire and would truly revitalize the Arkansas program.