Heading into the 2009 season, Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian would often talk about making the team “competitive.”
Coming off a 2008 campaign in which the team he was inheriting had failed to win a single game, just being competitive enough to have opponents not look past the Huskies seemed like an appropriate goal.
UW head coach Steve Sarkisian spoke Monday about his team’s goals for the 2010 season. (Getty Images/Otto Greule Jr)
But with a new season come new expectations.
“We’re here to win championships, there’s no doubt,” Sarkisian said. “Last year it was be competitive, fight scratch, claw. This year, let’s go play well and win a championship.”
Sarkisian’s expectations may seem premature, given that the 2010 squad is just one season removed from the worst season in UW history. But Sarkisian, speaking in his first press conference prior to the start of fall practice, said the entire culture and attitude of his team has changed, adding that players now expect to win every game.
“That whole ‘expect to win’ mantra isn’t just something we put on T-shirts,” Sarkisian said.
Sarkisian added that historical precedents say the Huskies have a built-in advantage by starting the season with a senior, in Jake Locker, at quarterback.
“Having Jake back for his senior year is obviously critical,” Sarkisian said.
Sarkisian touched on a number of other subjects, at one point detailing the depth charts at each position. He refused to comment on the situation involving Kavario Middleton, who was booted from the team for breaking team rules, other than to say that Middleton is no longer enrolled at the university.
Sarkisian also discussed Josh Shirley, the controversial recruit who comes to the Huskies after being kicked off the UCLA team for involvement in a robbery.
“Trust me when I tell you, we’ve done our due-diligence on this,” Sarkisian said. “This incident, whether how small or large his part was is not indicative of this young man’s true character.”
Fall practices for the Huskies start Aug. 9, with the Huskies opening the season September 4th against BYU.