The Steve Sarkisian Transition at Washington: Assistant Coach Hires

Ian PetersonCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2008

Steve Sarkisian took today to update the fans and media on some of the coaching changes that he has made at the University of Washington. While some of the key coaching positions are still unfilled, specifically the defensive coordinator slot, he has filled out some of the other positions.

He released three assistant coach hires as well as a staff hire today. Jim Michalzik was named the new offensive coordinator as reported yesterday. Demetrice Martin and Johnny Nansen were also added at the secondary job and the special teams job respectively. Jared Blank was also added as a director of player personnel.

Along with his duties as the offensive coordinator and the offensive line coach, Michalzik will be recruiting in the state of Washington, where he recruited for Cal under coach Tedford.

Johnny Nansen is a former Washington State Cougar and comes to the Huskies after spending three years as the linebackers and special teams coach at the University of Idaho. He was a graduate student at Louisville and also spent a year at Montana State before spending three at Idaho State.

Demetrice Martin spent 2007 as a defensive graduate student at USC, working with the secondary. Before that he spent three years coaching at Mt. Saint Antonio College, where he worked with current Husky safety Jason Wells. He played cornerback at Michigan State from 1992 to 1995.

Jared Blank comes from USC as well, where he served also as the director of player personnel. He holds a bachelor's in communication from USC and a master's in communications management. Coach Sark said of him during the press conference, "He has the potential to be a future general manager in the NFL." 

The overall theme is youth in the coaching and backroom staff, and the experience of Jim Michalzik will be an added plus. Coach Sark has stated that the new staff has hit the recruiting trail immediately.

In terms of salaries, Michalzik has become the highest paid Husky assistant, making $350,000 per annum. Nansen and Martin will each make $110,000 and $100,000 per annum respectively.

Ivan Lewis has also been named the strength and conditioning coach at UW, a much lower key hire but one of the most important. The second-half fades the past several years have been one of the most notable missing aspects for success at Washington.

Other coaching news has USC secondary coach Rocky Seto turning down the UW defensive coordinator job. Yogi Roth, who was considered for the quarterback coaching job, is probably not coming as well.

More updates will be on the way.