Huskies Insider Blog

Coaching receivers, and being UW's San Diego tour guide

Ah, sunny San Diego.

It's not only Jimmie Dougherty's paradise, it's where the Huskies' receivers coach spent five years of grooming his coaching skills at the University of San Diego.

By returning to that area, the UW coaching staff will lean on Dougherty - the team's youngest assistant - a bit more after the Huskies arrive Dec. 23 to prepare for Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl almost a week later.

"I have a couple of spots (to frequent) - on site and out in the city," Dougherty said.

In fact, when Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian when on a site visit earlier this week, touring the potential practice facilities at either USD or UC-San Diego, the second-year head man quipped, "Jimmie ... wanted to go back there (to USD), so ... "

Dougherty was hired at USD in 2004, and worked five seasons there, including three on former coach Jim Harbaugh, who is now at Stanford.

In 2008, Dougherty was hired as the Toreros' offensive coordinator. A few months after that season ended, Sarkisian lured him to come to the UW.

"It’s kind of surreal, and kind of funny how things in life come full circle," Dougherty said. "You don’t know it at the time, but you can come back and revisit things you hadn’t in the past."

In fact, in the hours before the bowl selections were made public Sunday, Dougherty thought he was going to be a part of the double-surreal moment - returning to San Diego where he started NCAA Division I coaching, and playing against his alma mater in Missouri, who was tabbed by many experts to likely be the UW's opponent in the Holiday Bowl.

"Kind of crazy," he said of that possibility.

Didn't happen - a rematch of Nebraska was announced instead.

"It’s going to be a great event down there – in a great city – and I had a great five years down there," Dougherty said. "I learned a lot of football, and I’m looking forward to going down there. Most important thing, we’re going to go down there to win."

Other stuff from Saturday:

* Regulars, including quarterback Jake Locker, practiced more with the team Saturday, especially for the first half of the session at Dempsey Center.

* As expected, junior Everrette Thompson played at defensive tackle during team session. He had spent the past four games at defensive end.

UW defensive line coach Johnny Nansen said Lakes High product Sione Potoa'e would also see time inside.

If Talia Crichton (knee) does come back for the bowl game, he likely would play strong-side defensive end, Nansen said.

* For the first time this season, true freshmen were allowed to speak to reporters covering practice (although punter Kiel Rasp still remains off limits).