SEATTLE (AP) – Two months into his job as Washington’s head coach and Steve Sarkisian is still dealing with two openings on his coaching staff thanks to a pair of flip-flopping assistants.
The second, and more surprising, came Monday afternoon when the school announced that offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik was leaving Washington to become the offensive line coach with the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders confirmed the hiring Monday afternoon.
The move came less than a week after Sarkisian, Michalczik and the rest of the Huskies staff finished up their first recruiting class, and on the day the coaches intended to begin planning for the start of spring practices.
Last month, Washington announced the hiring of Aaron Roderick – a former teammate of Sarkisian’s at BYU – as the Huskies’ new wide receivers coach. A little more than a week later, the school said Roderick would be staying at Utah because of family-related matters.
So with spring football expected to begin in late March, the Huskies are now scrambling to fill two openings on their coaching staff.
Michalczik served the previous six seasons on the staff of Jeff Tedford at California, most recently holding the titles of offensive line coach, co-offensive coordinator and assistant head coach. He was lured to Washington by the chance to be offensive coordinator – although Sarkisian intends to call plays – having grown up in Port Angeles, Wash., and a contract that paid a guaranteed $350,000 per season.
Sarkisian lauded Michalczik for his ability to help develop physical offensive lines in his stops at California and previously at Oregon State. Michalczik was also expected to be the Huskies’ lead recruiter in the state of Washington.
“I really trust him because I’ve seen his body of work now for years in our conference,” Sarkisian said on the day of Michalczik’s hiring. “He’s been successful at Oregon State. He’s been successful at Cal. At both places they’ve been a physical football team.”
New Raiders coach Tom Cable – who had the interim tag removed from his title last week – had filled all of his coaching staff except for offensive line coach. The Raiders won’t have an official offensive coordinator. Cable held the role of offensive line coach before his promotion to interim head coach when Lane Kiffin was fired in late September.
It will be Michalczik’s first coaching job in the NFL.