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Originally published Wednesday, December 24, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Huskies looking at new style for football uniforms

New coach Steve Sarkisian will continue to reshape the University of Washington football program, a renovation that may also include the team's uniforms and future schedules.

Seattle Times staff reporter

New Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian is spending his Christmas holidays working for the USC Trojans, serving as offensive coordinator for the team through the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl.

But when he returns to Seattle for good the following day, he will continue to reshape the Huskies football program, a renovation that may also include the team's uniforms and future schedules.

Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said Tuesday that Sarkisian has already had some initial discussions with others in the athletic department about revamping the uniforms, possibly as early as next season.

And in what will likely be good news to a vocal section of UW fans who haven't liked some of the recent changes, Woodward said Sarkisian favors a return to some of the uniforms of more distant vintage.

"He has that feel that he likes the more classic lettering and the more classic looks, maybe with some streaks here and there," Woodward said.

Woodward said there is "nothing specific" yet, just that Sarkisian and some of the equipment personnel and designers "have been talking about the possibility of doing some changes to the uniforms. Whether we can get them done in time is going to be a big question."

The uniforms are usually ordered fairly early in the year, so decisions would have to be made quickly for a change to be made.

Many fans have yearned for a return to the look of UW's 1980s and '90s glory days, specifically brighter gold and deeper purple colorings. They were changed most notably in 2001 following UW's last Rose Bowl appearance when the department made wholesale changes to uniforms in all sports.

Whatever changes are made to uniforms, Woodward said UW's helmet is likely to stay the same.

As for schedules, Woodward said the school will look down the road about making them "more logical and making sure that it is teams we want to play."

Woodward said that doesn't necessarily mean "softening" the schedules, but making sure they make sense.

Some have questioned the strength of UW's schedules in recent years, such as this year's slate that included nonconference games against Oklahoma, Brigham Young and Notre Dame.

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Woodward said he has presented future schedules to Sarkisian but the two have yet to really discuss how they want to proceed, with the AD saying that recruiting and putting together a coaching staff are Sarkisian's top priorities at the moment.

Washington's schedules are fairly power-packed for the next few years, with the Huskies slated to host Syracuse and Nebraska and playing at BYU in 2010, while scheduled to host BYU and Hawaii and play at Nebraska in 2011.

And the 2012 schedule features games at Louisiana State and BYU.

What Woodward said is unlikely to change, in terms of the opponents, is the 2009 schedule, which features a home game against LSU to open the season, a home game with Idaho in Week 2, and a date at Notre Dame in October.

"I think our schedule in terms of who we are playing [in 2009] is firm," he said.

What could change are the dates of some Pac-10 games, as the Huskies look to get some byes in a schedule that currently has them playing 12 games in 12 weeks.

The Pac-10 held a conference call with its athletic directors last week to discuss some options to move some games around to create some openings (California, Stanford and Washington State also are slated to play 12 games in 12 weeks). But Woodward said nothing has been decided.

"We're still waiting for the conference to come up with some [breaks] for the schools that had schedules all the way through and try to create some opportunities for some byes," he said.

"It just hasn't been agreed upon yet."

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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