university of washington blog

Washington Huskies & Steve Sarkisian Hire Wilcox & Sirmon To Run Defense

Defensive Coaches On Board

ESPN  reported Justin Wilcox’s hiring on Monday.

His defense was one of the bright spot in a crappy 5-7 season in Tennessee.

In 2011, his defense ranked No. 28 in the nation in total defense (340.5 yards per game) and 35th in scoring defense.

In his first season with the Vols in 2010, his defense helped lead Tennessee to a bowl game by holding four straight November opponents to 14 or fewer points.

Now, Wilcox is leaving Tennessee for a chance to return to the northwest (he’s from Junction City Oregon and he grew up in Walla Walla), and help the Washington football program under Steve Sarkisian return to Pac 12 supremacy.

He’s been brought in to get the defense back to “the old day’s type of Husky defense”.

Washington announced the hiring of Wilcox as the Huskies new defensive coordinator on Monday. He’s a University of Oregon alum. (Don’t hold that against him)

Wilcox is replacing the now fired Nick Holt. All Holt’s defense did was allow 777 yards and 67 points in the Alamo Bowl loss to Baylor.

Holt’s firing was three years after he was brought to UW as the defensive answer to the Huskies Tyrone Willingham woes.

Justin Wilcox

Wilcox is replacing the now fired Nick Holt. All his defense did was allow 777 yards and 67 points in the 2012 Alamo Bowl loss to Baylor.

For the record, that was the most yards ever allowed by Washington, the second-most points ever allowed by UW, and it came on the national stage, which can’t help recruiting at all.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity,” Wilcox said in a statement. “Washington is a place where you can win big, and I’m excited to work with coach Sarkisian in developing a championship-caliber football program.

Our first order of business is hitting the recruiting trail, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Linebackers coach Peter Sirmon is also leaving Tennessee as well to take the same job with the Huskies. Both Wilcox and Sirmon played at Oregon.

Sirmon served as linebackers coach at Tennessee after serving as a graduate assistant working primarily with safeties. Sirmon was born in Wenatchee, Wash., and graduated from Walla Walla.

UW fired linebackers coach Mike Cox and safeties coach Jeff Mills. I have not heard as of yet who is coaching safeties.

Steve Sarkisian had this to say this week.

“I am excited to welcome Justin and Peter to Washington, as they are two of the brightest young coaches in the country,” Sarkisian said.

Washington officials said contract details had not been finalized for either Wilcox or Sirmon.

Tough week for Tennessee football. Though I don’t really care.  UT has lost  a 2012 recruiting commit and their two top defensive assistants.

Not to forget, the 2011 season saw the Volunteers first loss to Kentucky since 1984.  “The SEC, who cares”.

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