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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
3-point stance: Hiring assistant coaches

By Ivan Maisel

Now that hiring season for head coaches is complete, here are three items about hiring assistants:

1. It’s two weeks before signing date and Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian already has the best class ... of new assistant coaches. Sarkisian hired line coach Tosh Lupoi from Pac-12 North rival California, Lupoi’s alma mater and only employer. Lupoi, known for his recruiting prowess, joins new coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebacker coach Peter Sirmon, both of whom who came from Tennessee.

2. Alabama head coach Nick Saban likes coaches who know what he expects, which is why he just hired Tennessee defensive line coach Lance Thompson … for the third time. Thompson went with Saban to Alabama in 2007 and left for Knoxville three years ago, which means Thompson missed both of the Crimson Tide’s BCS titles (he won a ring with Saban and LSU in 2003). Out of the eight jobs that Thompson has held since 1995, Saban and George O'Leary (at Georgia Tech and UCF) each have hired him three times.

3. If you are looking for an example of grace and class in a difficult situation, read Tom Bradley’s statement after 37 years as a student, player and coach at Penn State. Jay Paterno, Joe’s son, also said goodbye after playing for his father and spending 17 years on his staff. I can't help but think, after all these years and all that stability, they are finally learning how the rest of the business lives -- at the whim of the head coach and his record.