Next season is becoming more clear for the Washington Huskies’ football team.
The Pacific-12 Conference schedule was announced Thursday, and Washington has rounded out its coaching staff from within.
The Huskies moved Johnny Nansen to running backs coach to fill the hole left by Joel Thomas, who departed Washington to take over as the Arkansas running backs coach. In addition, Nansen remains assistant head coach and special teams coordinator.
Washington promoted Jordan Paopao to tight ends coach. Paopao, nephew of Joe Paopao, retired star quarterback for the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League, is a former All-American center at the University of San Diego who had been a graduate assistant working with the tight ends the past two seasons at Washington.
Linebackers coach Peter Sirmon adds the title of recruiting coordinator, taking over from Nansen. The change expands Sirmon’s recruiting role.
Paopao moved to Washington from Stanford, where he served as a recruiting assistant under Jim Harbaugh, who coached him during his college playing career at San Diego. For the Toreros, Paopao was a three-time, first-team all-Pioneer Football League selection and three-time All-American. He was a four-year starter at center and twice helped the Toreros to 11-1 seasons.
Between his time at Stanford and UW, Paopao spent a season as recruiting coordinator, offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Azusa Pacific.
The hiring of Paopao concludes an offseason of change on the staff. In addition to Thomas’ departure, wide receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty left to become the offensive coordinator at San Jose State. Former Huskies quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo was hired as quarterbacks coach, which shifted offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau from his prior duty as quarterbacks coach to wide receivers coach.
That group will oversee Washington in the Apple Cup, which will be played the day after Thanksgiving for the second consecutive season when Washington plays host to Washington State on Nov. 29. The Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State will be played the same day.
The Huskies open Pac-12 play at home Sept. 28 against Arizona. That’s followed by what appears to be the most difficult part of the schedule, a double shot against top-tier North Division foes and likely top-10 teams Stanford and Oregon. Washington heads to Stanford, Calif., on Oct. 5 then plays host to Oregon on Oct. 12. The Huskies have back-to-back road games prior to the Apple Cup, including a Friday night game at UCLA on Nov. 15. Washington has two bye weeks – after the Boise State opener and between home games against Cal (Oct. 26) and Colorado (Nov. 9).
In addition, Washington senior center Drew Schaefer has committed to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, Calif., at 3 p.m. Jan. 19 on ESPN2.
Bill Young stepped down after four seasons as Oklahoma State’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Glenn Spencer was promoted to take his spot. … Record-setting Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins is heading to the NFL and skipping his final season of college. He had a school-record 1,405 yards receiving on 82 catches last season, and his 18 touchdowns were an Atlantic Coast Conference record. Others to skip their senior seasons to enter the draft are Georgia nose tackle Kwame Geathers and Oklahoma State’s all-Big 12 running back, Joseph Randle.McClatchy news services contributed to this report.