Steve Sarkisian Is Not Tyrone Willingham

Ian PetersonCorrespondent IDecember 8, 2008

And I am so thankful for that little thing as a Husky fan right now.

I was one of those fans who was sceptical of Tyrone Willingham but supported the idea of giving him a year with his players to prove me wrong. Well, he didn't.

We went 0-12 this season, none of the team fought with any real drive or passion, and the football team as a whole looked drab and uninspired. That's why right now Steve Sarkisian is being introduced as the new head coach for the Washington Huskies. As Tyrone Willingham delightfully reminded us after the Cal game, he is now a normal citizen again. Good, I hear Golf is popular with a lot of normal people, so he should have fun.

I was seriously nearly broken of my love for Husky football; they disappointed me that badly this year. I can honestly say I've only been to three games in person that we actually won in Husky stadium in the four years I've been at school here.

Now its time for the new guy to shine. 

I just watched his introductory press conference and he excited me. I felt good to be a Husky once again. He showed animation at the very least, which you never got at all from Willingham.

Sarkisian quoted back the legacy of the team; the conference championships and the Rose Bowl appearances. The stuff that really reminds us why we love the Huskies in the first place. Plus, he recounted his own experience of playing in Husky Stadium while he played for BYU in which he got sacked 8 times during the game. That is what Husky football is all about.

Tyrone Willingham had a way about him when he was the coach of Washington that was very mechanical which was off-putting for many of the fans and boosters. He never truly embraced the idea of what it truly meant to be a Husky.

One of the things that seemed to invoke the most response from the fans at the press conference was the firm commitment to opening practice to the fans and media. To many it was probably the moment that the transition from Tyrone Willingham to Steve Sarkisian become a tangible thing.

Recruiting and assembling his staff seem his first concern, with the exception of coaching in the Rose Bowl. I respect that decision considering he's put so much of an investment of time into that team and the players. Though I get the impression some in Trojan land are ready for a change, and I think most Husky fans would like to see a much fuller recruiting class.

Like Tyrone Willingham, the first recruiting class is going to really define the general tone of Steve Sarkisians tenure at Washington. It's completely unrealistic at this point to expect a high ranking recruiting class, but it certainly can be filled out. Whether or not Sarkisian can keep those players in the program several years down the road will be a marked improvement from Tyrone.

At the very least, I don't feel like Sarkisian is going to go on vacation right now and play golf during the height of recruiting season.

Sarkisian is going to have his work cut out for him turning the program around, but he portrayed enthusiasm and confidence. He will need that, no question.