ESPN: Sarkisian to accept UW coaching job

After a coaching search that saw Washington flirt with NFL coaches, college head coaches and college assistants, it appears as if a Thanksgiving meeting sealed the deal between the Huskies and USC Offensive Coorinator Steve Sarkisian. ESPN's Joe Schad is reporting Thursday night that Sarkisian has accepted the post and will become the 27th Head Football Coach at the University of Washington.

But Sarkisian, reached Thursday night, would not confirm the news. "Not as of now," he said. "Contact has been made. I'm honored to be a candidate. But right now, my focus is on the UCLA game Saturday. Maybe ESPN knows more than I know. Maybe that'll be good news.

"I have interviewed with Washington. They've interviewed a lot of people. I'm one of a number of candidates, which I'm honored to be. Nothing is finalized in any way, shape or form. There's been some communication. Nothing has been put in writing.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm a candidate and honored to be. As of right now, Thursday night, I'm getting ready for Saturday. That's ESPN's report, not Washington's or mine. It comes with the territory: job openings and speculation. The key is to focus on the job Saturday and not this conversation.

Sarkisian also went on to say that he has not been offered the job. "The interview went well, learning about each other," he said. "I've always been patient regarding head coaching opportunities. I assess each separately. They interview me, and I assess the job as well, like I did with the Oakland job. It's a process. Neither party wants to rush into it."

Scott Woodward, Washington's Athletic Director, also would not confirm ESPN's story.

"I've been consistent with you the whole time in telling you that when we have an announcement to make, we're going to make that announcement," Woodward said. "And we do not have an announcement to make."

Woodward had not seen the ESPN report. "We're not going to talk about (the hire) until I'm ready to talk about it," He said, adding that he would not speculate on the timing of the eventual announcement.

A source close to the UW program told Dawgman.com that it will be Sarkisian, and that news was also confirmed via Gary Paskwietz, who hosted Schad on his Trojan Chat Room show on ESPN 710 in Los Angeles. Paskwietz said that Schad told them he was sticking to his source that Sarkisian would be the next Washington head coach.

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