Football Program Back on Track to Succeed

In a scant 60 minutes, the University of Washington’s entire football program went from a lingering negative impact since the departure of legendary coach Don James in 1993, to a positive impact when the Huskies opened their 2009 season against No. 11-ranked Louisiana State University.

Don James is affectionately known as the “Dawgfather” on the U-Dub campus. He is the role model for successful coaches at the University of Washington. James won 22 consecutive games from 1990 to 1992, a national championship, and took the Huskies to 6 Rose Bowls (4-2) and 15 bowl games (10-5) in 18 years.

His 153-57-2 record (a 72% winning percentage) is the standard by which all others are measured. When the Dawgfather speaks, even 16 years after being an active coach, ข่าวบอล hundreds of people line up to listen intently, and well they should. Fans greet him the reverence and respect he has earned.

Sixteen years of not performing up to Husky football standards had gone beyond tarnishing the image of Washington as an every-year Pac-10 contender and premiere national program to a dismal, inexcusable 0-12 team last year. Clearly, change was not only in order, it had become a “life and death issue” that was not going away.

Enter University of Washington’s President Mark Emmert and new Director of Athletics Scott Woodward and “BAM!”-like Emeril Lagasse putting spice into a recipe-the Huskies had a new head coach, Steve Sarkisian, and a new defensive coordinator and assistant head coach, Nick Holt. Both came from University of Southern California’s program, where Sarkisian was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator, and Holt was the defensive coordinator.

USC has been the most consistently successful football program in the country during the past 7 years. The Trojans have won at least 11 games a season for the past 7 years, and have been in 7 consecutive BCS (Bowl Championship Series) games-winning 6 of 7 BCS games, including the National Championship against Oklahoma in 2004. Their only BCS loss was to Texas in the 2005 National Championship Game.

Both the consecutive 11-win seasons and the number of BCS appearances are records. Along with head coach Pete Carroll, Sarkisian and Holt were an integral part of USC’s success, and now they are patrolling the field and sidelines at Husky Stadium.

The doors which barred key boosters, parents, fans and supporters from attending Husky practice and participating in Husky nation under the old regime were thrown open again. No more silence and no more exclusion as the old brain trust systematically screwed up the program almost beyond repair.

In through the open doors flew new enthusiasm, a new start, a new system, and a new chance for the great unwashed and undisciplined to come back into the fold. Now former players and coaches are once again welcomed and encouraged to participate in the Huskies’ drive to success.