The first UW student-athlete to win the prestigious Baldwin Scholarship in Anthropology will be a featured researcher at a May symposium. The linebacker is redefining how we perceive the intelligence of football players.
Huskies and Cougars will square off on the day after Thanksgiving at 12:30 p.m.
Huskies take on LSU Saturday evening in Baton Rouge.
Fifteen months after watching one older brother get murdered and another get wounded, the Huskies' teen is the centerpiece to the defense, a potential 4-year starter - and perhaps an academic All-American.
UW Athletics' support of football evident with new assistant hirings.
Johnny Nansen was named to Coach Steve Sarkisian's coaching staff in December of 2008, one of Sarkisian's first hires.
During the past off-season, he took on the role of running backs coach while retaining his position of special teams coordinator and assistant head coach. Last season, he was the Huskies' special teams and recruiting coordinator, a role he'd filled since joining the staff.
The 2011 season saw a number of accomplishments for those coached by Nansen. The Husky special teams posted a good year in virtually every department as the Huskies' punt return and kickoff return average both improved significantly over the previous year while the opponents' averages both fell. In addition, the UW ranked No. 7 in the nation in net punting and No. 21 punt return defense. In his role as defensive line coach, Nansen mentored an NFL draft pick in Alameda Ta'amu, who was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers following his senior season.
On the recruiting front, Nansen helped oversee another strong class of signees in 2012, signing a group that was unanimously ranked among the nation's top 25.
In 2010, Nansen achieved in each of his various roles. His 2011 recruiting class was ranked in the top 25 by every major ranking while his special teams featured a school-record breaker in punter Kiel Rasp. Finally, his defensive line unit was consistently praised as a key cog in the Huskies' winning run through its final four games, which was crowned with a 19-7 win over 18th-ranked Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl.
In 2009, Nansen coached UW defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, who finished his career with a school-record 30 quarterback sacks and earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors. Nansen was also a part of a defensive coaching staff that helped improve the team's defensive stats across the board over the previous season. Washington gave up an average of 65 yards and 12 points less than it did in 2008.
Nansen came to UW after having spent the previous five seasons on the coaching staff at Idaho, where he worked with linebackers, defensive line and special teams. He was an assistant on then-Idaho head coach (and current UW defensive coordintor) Nick Holt's staff in 2004 and 2005.
Nansen played his college ball at Washington State, graduating in 1997 after earning three letters as a linebacker (1994-96).
Nansen, a product of Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan High School, began his coaching career as the defensive coordinator at Long Beach Cabrillo High in 1998.
He was then a graduate assistant at Louisville in 1999, where he worked alongside Holt on head coach John L. Smith's staff, before spending one season at Montana State and three at Idaho State.
A standout quarterback as a high-school player at Long Beach Jordan, Nansen earned a degree in business administration. He and his wife, Hale, have two daughters: Makena Lei and Kealie Lei, and a son, Johnny Jr.