UW Football | Huskies eye UCLA defensive boss
Two Oregon State coaches mentioned as potential candidates for the suddenly vacant defensive coordinator's job at Washington — Mark...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Two Oregon State coaches mentioned as potential candidates for the suddenly vacant defensive coordinator's job at Washington — Mark Banker and Jay Locey — each denied interest Tuesday.
Meanwhile, another Pac-10 assistant, UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, was cited in several Los Angeles-area newspapers as possibly a leading candidate for the job if he isn't retained with the Bruins as head coach or as a coordinator.
Banker, Oregon State's defensive coordinator, said, "I'd have to say categorically at this point in time, no," when asked by The Oregonian newspaper if he would have any interest in the UW job. Banker has worked with OSU coach Mike Riley for 11 of the past 12 years, the past five as defensive coordinator of the Beavers.
Locey, Oregon State's assistant head coach and tight-ends coach, is a former defensive coordinator and head coach at Linfield. Told that Banker said he would have no interest, Locey told The Oregonian, "That's how I feel" and that he thinks being approached by UW "seems like a longshot."
Walker, UCLA's defensive coordinator the past two years and the interim coach for the team's bowl game Saturday against Brigham Young, will be a hot name for many jobs if he is not kept at UCLA. The Daily News said Walker "is the top choice" of UW coach Tyrone Willingham to be Washington's new defensive coordinator (Willingham has not commented on the situation other than in a statement announcing the firing of Kent Baer and tight-ends and special-teams coach Bob Simmons on Monday).
But The Daily News story also reported that Walker is still in the running to be UCLA's head coach and also could be retained if someone else is named to the top job. Former UW coach Rick Neuheisel is now regarded as a leading candidate for the UCLA head-coaching job, The Daily News reported. And there are rumblings that Neuheisel is attempting to sell his candidacy at UCLA by trying to keep Walker on staff. Neuheisel is reportedly getting a second interview for the job.
Walker gained raves for his work with UCLA's defense the past two seasons, particularly in 2006 when the Bruins beat USC 13-9. UCLA ranked third in the Pac-10 in scoring defense this season at 22.8.
One complicating factor for UW in attracting someone like Walker could be salary. Walker reportedly made $360,000 this season while Baer made $223,560, including a $24,000 housing allowance. Washington has usually paid its offensive and defensive coordinators similar salaries during Willingham's tenure.
Another possible candidate at UW is Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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