Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Cal to UW, take II: Huskies hire Kiesau
By ESPN.com staff
Washington again raided California to complete its revamped coaching staff on Tuesday, hiring Eric Kiesau away from the Bears.
Cal confirmed Kiesau's departure with a short statement from coach Jeff Tedford and athletic director Sandy Barbour. It has been reported that Kiesau will be the Huskies' offensive coordinator -- he coached receivers for Cal -- but it seems likely that head coach Steve Sarkisian will continue to call plays, as he did with former coordinator, Doug Nussmeier, who is leaving for Alabama.
On Monday, the Huskies hired Tosh Lupoi away from Cal. He is considered perhaps the best recruiter in the conference.
Kiesau is the fifth new coach Sarkisian has hired this offseason. In addition to him and Lupoi, Sarkisian hired Justin Wilcox (defensive coordinator) and Peter Sirmon (linebackers) away from Tennessee and Keith Heyward (secondary) away from Oregon State.
What has become clear: Washington is willing to pay big money to stock a staff around Sarkisian. When the numbers are published, it's possible that Washington could have the highest paid coaching staff in the conference in 2012, though USC doesn't release salary information. It's certainly clear that Cal couldn't keep up, even though both schools will rake in big money from the Pac-12's new TV contract. Simple fact: Washington is a wealthier athletic department, as Mitch Sherman notes here.
Here is the statement from Tedford: “Tosh and Eric have decided to take other jobs, and we wish them the best. When people have career opportunities they make decisions based upon a wide array of reasons that are important to them. We appreciate their contributions to Cal football, and we exhausted all of our resources to try to retain Tosh and Eric within the confines and continuity of our coaching staff, but both chose to take advantage of new opportunities. We will proceed to replace them with quality coaches who will continue to stand for what the University of California and our football program represent, just as Tosh and Eric did.”
And from Barbour: “Tosh and Eric are outstanding football coaches that did a terrific job during their tenures on the Cal staff. We certainly valued everything they brought to our football program and appreciate their time with us. We did all we were able to do to have them remain at Cal and appreciate our community’s willingness to assist in that effort. We remain excited and confident about the direction of Cal football under the leadership of Jeff Tedford.”
And, yes, it is fairly unusual for the coach and athletic director to release statements after they lose assistant football coaches. Tedford and Barbour probably felt they needed to in this case because Cal fans -- understandably -- aren't taking this well, particularly so close to national signing day on Feb. 1.