Posted by Bryan Fischer
UCLA is searching for a new head coach after letting go Rick Neuheisel before the Pac-12 Championship game. And searching and searching. And searching.
They tried Boise State's Chris Petersen, checked in on others such as Houston's Kevin Sumlin and now, apparently, have moved onto someone with local ties. According to the LA Times, UCLA officials have approached Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian about the vacancy but the efforts have "fallen on deaf ears."
Sarkisian has several ties to the Los Angeles area, hailing from nearby Torrance, Calif. and spending several years as an assistant at USC. Washington athletic director Scott Woodward told the Seattle Times on Friday that officials have not asked to talk to the 37-year-old head coach.
"Steve, I know, hasn't talked to them, as far as I know," Woodward said via phone, adding, "I don't think anything is imminent. I'm not worried.''
After taking over a winless Huskies team in 2008, Sarkisian has guided the program to back-to-back bowl games in 2010 and 2011. He signed a new five-year contract with the school at the end of last year that will pay him up to $2.85 million in the final year of the deal with a $2.5 million buyout. Washington is also making a significant investment in facilities to upgrade the program, which includes a $250 million renovation of Husky Stadium.
"I have not been contacted, no,'' Sarkisian said after practice Friday.
Washington plays Baylor in the Alamo Bowl on December 29th.