Pelluer joins Husky football staff

The ink was barely dry on Rick Neuheisel's final notice of termination Monday night when new Washington Head Coach Keith Gilbertson hired former Husky linebackers coach Scott Pelluer back to take over coaching the tight ends and also to coordinate Washington's special teams effort.

Pelluer was lured to Montlake after being let go from the University of Arizona, where he was also LB coach and Special teams Coordinator the past two seasons for John Mackovic and the Wildcats.

"Both my wife (Kimberly) and I were raised here, I've got parents and family here and two brothers still here and she has her sister here - we're just extremely excited to be back," the former Interlake High star told Tuesday morning when Gilbertson made the announcement. "This is a great place to coach football, simple as that. I had a great experience here the first time and I had a great experience down at the University of Arizona. We loved spending time in Tucson, but to be back with our families and friends is special."

Coaching the tight ends marks the first time Pelluer has moved to the offensive side opf the ball, although he did coach running backs for Skyline HS in Issaquah in 2000.

But make no mistake - Scott's main responsibility will be to revive a special teams unit that waned under Neuheisel's watch. Washington was 7th in the Pac-10 in kickoff returns, 7th in total punting, 9th in punt returns and 8th in kickoff coverage.

"Keith and I have talked about how you win championships with defense and special teams. In 1991 during the Don James era I remember a lot of blocked punts and a lot of big returns that helped them win games," Scott said. "I want to help the Huskies get back to that level of consistent special teams play, a renewed emphasis on fundamentals from top to bottom."

Pelluer and staff will have their work cut out for them in a big way. It's conceivable the starting punter and placekicker for the Ohio State opener could be true freshmen. "I don't know much about either guy (Sean Douglas and Michael Braunstein), but I'm excited to get going and it's a great opportunity to do some things against the defending national champions," said Pelluer.

Besides taking over Gilby's position responsibilities, Pelluer will also take Keith's recruiting territory, including Seattle north to Canada, Spokane and the Tri-Cities. "I'm very excited about it," Pelluer said. "I haven't recruited that area since when I was at Boise State long ago. I'm really comfortable with it, I know most all the Washington high school coaches through the clinics and so forth. When you're a Washingtonian, there's nothing better than recruiting the coaches in the state of Washington."

It's been five years since Pelluer left Seattle after coaching linebackers under Jim Lambright, but it's clear it didn't take long for him to fall back into some old Husky habits. "Just to hear Gilby talk about all the former players and coaches that have walked through the tunnel and the tradition of Husky football - it's a special place," he said.

"And once you get into coaching you realize just how special it is." Top Stories