Willingham on White

SEATTLE - Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham talked to media Monday about the hiring of former Syracuse offensive assistant Brian White to his staff. Here's what he had to say.

General Comments - "I'm excited when you get to add somebody of quality to your staff. Brian has been coaching for some time. He has a wonderful history. Some of that includes being out in the west. He has a marvelous academic record to accompany those coaching years. I first became aware of him at Wisconsin. We faced him this year at Syracuse. I've respected the work that he's done and the people that he's been with and the person that he is. I that we've added a quality guy that is also an outstanding coach to our system."

On the possibily of moving him to another position - "I like to leave certain things open. I want to have the flexibility to do that."

On why the change needed to be made at special teams - "We were making some improvement. We led the Pac-10 in punt returns, so there were some good things there. But I wanted to see some more progress, and hopefully this move will will allow us to do that."

On why Willingham felt White was a good fit - "He does have a world of experience. His personality and demeanor will fit in well with the young men and the ability to communicate with them. That should help us.

On the last spot - "Haven't filled it yet. I've been very patient about most of the hires and I still will be."

One White being on a one-year or two-year contract - "One year."

On no set date for spring practices or Spring Game - "There still are some things being worked out. There's something nationally that we may be tying into that's not allowing us to competely announce that decision yet. There's some things being worked on that could change in a week or so, but we should be starting that first week of April, one way or the other."

On why tight ends/special teams might be a better fit for White - "In my conversations with him, he felt comfortable at a of positions. But for my needs and what I saw him at, I thought he'd be a better fit for us at tight ends and potentially special teams."

On White always being on Willingham's short list - "He was initially there. I looked at a lot of guys and came back to him toward the latter part of the process."

On the tight end position - "It should be exciting. As we start the process to make it more beneficial for us, hopefully Kavario (Middleton) and the other tight ends we have can step up to the opportunity and recognize the challenge. If they can step up to the plate, it would become a focus and a part of our offense.

On White as a recruiter - "I think he's shown to be a solid recruiter who can go in a lot of areas, a lot of diverse areas and be very productive. That was something his intelligence and personality would allow him to do that. And that's one of the other considerations. We want someone that's not just known for their coaching expertise and their knowledge, but also their ability to be a sound and solid recruiter, and we believe he does that."

On White and Donatell coming into unfamiliar recruiting territory - "I don't think it will take them long at all, because both have a previous history of being in the west and having done things in the west. That will take some time, but I think they will jump in and be ready to go. But they aren't being asked to go on the road today. The timing will allow them to do the research necessary for them to be able to run the first of May."

On position changes - "We are still just starting all of our research right now, so there wouldn't be any identification of player changes right now. We'll be focused on our off-season research to make those decisions so we can put them in place later - if there are any to be made."


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