Petersen’s first UW staff filled with former Broncos

Staff writerDecember 31, 2013 

uw football

Chris Petersen’s new staff of assistant coaches at Washington has been announced.

Most of it, anyway. A tight ends coach still needs to be named, and UW says Petersen will do that in the coming days. But Petersen and UW did make official the hire of eight assistant coaches on Monday, in addition to a new strength and conditioning coach, a director of player personnel and a director of football operations.

UW said Tosh Lupoi, the former defensive line coach, has been reassigned to other duties in the athletic department.

Lupoi is under investigation by the school for allegedly making cash payments to a recruit to cover the costs of tutoring and online classes. The outcome of that investigation could determine buyout responsibilities if UW chooses to terminate Lupoi’s contract — it doesn’t expire until Feb. 6, 2015 — and it’s possible that is why he’s being retained by the athletic department for the time being.

Of the 11 staffers brought on, eight worked for Petersen at Boise State last season, and 10 have worked for him at some point. A UW spokesperson said salary information is not yet available for the new assistant coaches.

Also Monday, former UW quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo, who served as interim coach during the Fight Hunger Bowl, and defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox were both hired as assistants on former UW coach Steve Sarkisian’s staff at USC. Peter Sirmon (linebackers), Keith Heyward (defensive backs) and Johnny Nansen (running backs) have already accepted jobs with Sarkisian.

Wilcox signed a “mutual termination agreement” with UW, which allowed him to accept a job at USC without paying the $1 million buyout stipulated in his contract. Former strength coach Ivan Lewis signed a similar agreement.

The only departing assistants who will be owed buyouts are receivers coach Eric Kiesau and offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto, who will be paid the remaining salary due to them. Exact figures are not yet available.

Sarkisian owes $1.5 million to UW for leaving. Boise State is owed $750,000 as compensation for Petersen’s departure.

Lupoi’s salary will not change despite his reassignment of duties.

Washington’s new coaches are:

Pete Kwiatkowski, defensive coordinator: Spent the last four seasons in the same position at Boise State, and was BSU’s defensive line coach for four seasons before that. Also served as defensive coordinator at Montana State for six seasons.

Jeff Choate, defensive line/special teams: Coached special teams under Petersen at BSU from 2006-11, then coached linebackers for one season at Washington State before accepting defensive coordinator job at UTEP, which he left before the 2013 season to coach outside linebackers and special teams at Florida.

Bob Gregory, linebackers/assistant head coach: Took over as interim coach at Boise State when Petersen accepted UW job. Coached BSU’s linebackers from 2010-13 after serving as defensive coordinator at California from 2002-09. Played linebacker at WSU.

Jimmy Lake, defensive backs: Was BSU’s defensive backs coach the past two seasons, and coached defensive backs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010-11) and Detroit Lions (2008). Was assistant defensive backs coach at UW in 2004. Played safety at Eastern Washington.

Jonathan Smith, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks: Former Oregon State quarterback who set a Husky Stadium opponent record when he threw for 469 yards in a 1998 game. Coached quarterbacks for two seasons at BSU, and was offensive coordinator at Montana for two seasons prior to that. Previously spent six seasons as quarterbacks coach at Idaho.

Brent Pease, receivers: Offensive coordinator at Florida the last two seasons before he was fired at conclusion of 2013. Was an assistant at Boise State for six seasons, taking on offensive coordinator duties in 2011. Also was offensive coordinator at Baylor, Kentucky, Northern Arizona and Montana.

Keith Bhonapha, running backs/recruiting coordinator: First BSU coach to accept position on Petersen’s UW staff. Spent last eight seasons on BSU’s staff, and last five as running backs coach. One of Petersen’s most important recruiters. Played collegiately for Hawaii.

Chris Strausser, offensive line/associate head coach: Coached offensive line last four seasons at BSU, and was tight ends coach there for three seasons prior. Was also BSU’s offensive line coach from 2001-05 under former coach Dan Hawkins, and coached offensive line under Hawkins at Colorado in 2006.

Tim Socha, strength and conditioning: Filled same role under Petersen from 2006-13. Was a graduate assistant at Auburn from 1999-01.

Rich Rasmussen, director of player personnel: Filled same role at BSU the past two seasons. Prior to that, coached tight ends and served as recruiting coordinator under then-coach Paul Wulff at WSU. Coached at Bellarmine Prep and Mount Tahoma before 12-year stint at Eastern Washington. Native of Tacoma and a Lincoln High School graduate.

Mike McHugh, director of football operations: Spent 2013 season at Fresno State and 10 previous seasons at California in the same role.


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