A few news items for you in what is otherwise a pretty slow week at UW. There won’t be any media availability for the football team this week, and the basketball team doesn’t play until Sunday. But if it’s links you want, well, here are a few:
--- According to a report from Skyline Sports, Huskies defensive line coach and special-teams coordinator Jeff Choate is scheduled to interview for the vacant head coaching position at Montana State. The Bobcats -- members of the Big Sky -- fired coach Rob Ash after MSU finished 5-6 this season. The firing came as a bit of a surprise, because Ash compiled a 70-38 record in nine years and led MSU to the FCS playoffs in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Choate has ties to the state of Montana -- he played linebacker at Montana Western and coached linebackers there from 1992-93. When he left Boise State after six seasons to coach linebackers at Washington State in 2012, Choate said he made the move to avoid being pigeon-holed as “just” a special-teams coach, because he found that the label -- and more specifically, the fact that he hadn’t been a coordinator -- hindered his pursuit of head coaching positions.
Shortly after he joined WSU’s staff, Choate said: “I had interviewed for head (coaching) jobs and that was one of the things that came up – you haven’t been an offensive coordinator, you haven’t been a defensive coordinator -- which quite honestly I think is ridiculous, because as a special-teams coordinator you address the entire team. It’s probably the best training ground for being a head coach.”
(One thing worth noting: Choate was scheduled to be paid $360,000 by UW in base salary in 2015. According to this story, Ash’s total annual salary was about $256,000, before incentives.)
Choate and the rest of UW’s assistants originally signed two-year deals in December 2013 that expire at the end of January 2016, so expect an announcement on extensions, etc. in the coming month or two.
--- UW senior receiver Jaydon Mickens became one of the first players to commit to play in the 2016 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, held Jan. 23 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
--- Both of ESPN’s bowl-projecting analysts think Washington will play in the Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 29, Fort Worth, Texas).
--- USC decided on Monday to remove the interim tag and make Clay Helton its full-time head coach. He received a 5-year contract.
A few highlights from coach Chris Petersen’s final Monday coaches’ radio show of the season:
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple