Jan. 2, 2012
By Gregg Bell
UW Director of Writing
SEATTLE - The Huskies are using deep West Coast and Pac-12 roots to rebuild their defense.
Coach Steve Sarkisian on Monday hired former University of Tennessee and Boise State defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox as Washington's new D coordinator. UW also hired Peter Sirmon, another former player at Oregon, as linebackers coach.
"I am excited to welcome Justin and Peter to Washington," Sarkisian said, "as they are two of the brightest young coaches in the country. Both are natives of the Northwest and have strong recruiting ties in the area which complements their tremendous coaching abilities."
The 35-year-old Wilcox is a native of Junction City, Ore., and Sirmon grew up in Walla Walla, Wash. They were roommates and teammates while playing on the Oregon Ducks' defense from 1996-99.
"I'm grateful for this opportunity," Wilcox said. "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."
Wilcox spent two seasons at Tennessee and made the Volunteers into what is currently the 28th-ranked defense in the nation.
The former safety was the linebackers coach at Cal for three seasons before becoming Boise State's defensive coordinator. The aggressive Broncos led the Western Athletic Conference in defense in all four season Wilcox was its architect, through 2009.
Boise State was third nationally in scoring defense under Wilcox in 2008, allowing just 12.6 points per game. In 2009, Wilcox's Broncos were 14th in the country in scoring defense and total defense and third nationally in turnover margin.
Sirmon, who was born in Wenatchee, was a four-year starter and All-Pac-10 selection at linebacker at Oregon. He then played seven seasons for the NFL's Tennessee Titans.
Sirmon, 34, was a graduate assistant at on Oregon's 2009 Rose Bowl team and then for UT in 2010 before joining Wilcox on the Vols' staff this past season as linebackers coach.