Huskies Insider Blog

It's official: Washington hires Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, linebackers coach David Sirmon

UPDATE: 4:50 -- the school officially announced the hiring of Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon.

"I am excited to welcome Justin and Peter to Washington," Sarkisian said, "as they are two of the brightest young coaches in the country. Both are natives of the Northwest and have strong recruiting ties in the area which compliments their tremendous coaching abilities."

The 35-year-old Wilcox is a native of Junction City, Ore., and Sirmon grew up in Walla Walla, Wash. They were roommates and teammates while playing on the Oregon Ducks' defense from 1996-99.

"I'm grateful for this opportunity," Wilcox said. "Washington is a place where you can win big, and I'm excited to work with Coach Sarkisian in developing a championship-caliber football program. Our first order of business is hitting the recruiting trail, and I can't wait to get started." According to a report from ESPN, the University of Washington has already found a replacement for defensive coordinator Nick Holt in Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.

Chris Low of ESPN is reporting that Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon have agreed to join the Huskies.

Several other news sources are confirming the report, including the Associated Press.

The University of Tennessee has already removed both Wilcox and Sirmon from its coaching roster on its website.

Wilcox became a hot coaching commodity while serving as a defensive coordinator at Boise State.

In the 2009 undefeated season, he helped guide the Broncos to a No. 14 statistical finish in both total defense and scoring defense and a No. 3 showing in turnover margin. Boise State bookended the season with two of its most impressive victories, clamping down on Pac-10 Conference champion Oregon 19-8 to start the year and then closing with the 17-10 triumph over previously undefeated TCU at the Fiesta Bowl.

The Broncos of 2008 were nearly as tough, finishing 12-1 and winning their second Western Athletic Conference title in three seasons. Wilcox's defense ranked third nationally in scoring, allowing just 12.6 points per game and holding eight of its 13 opponents to 10 points or fewer.

He has direct ties to the Pac-12. Wilcox was born in Junction City, Oregon and was a News Tribune Northwest Nugget during his senior season there. He played for the Ducks as defensive back from 1995-1999, playing four bowl games. He also spent three season as a linebackers coach at California.

Sirmon, a native of Wenatchee, Wash., played with Wilcox at Oregon from 1996-1999.  The two were even roommates. He went on to play for seven years in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. He then started his coaching career at Central Washington as a linebackers coach and special teams coordinator.

You can expect that Washington will be paying Wilcox in the area of $700,000 similar to the $650,000 it was paying Holt. The Knoxville News Sentinel has some contract details for Wilcox.

Wilcox does not owe UT anything by leaving for another job. His original contract stipulated that he owe the school $300,000 if he terminated the deal before Dec. 1, 2011— with the exception of leaving because he obtained a Division I head coaching position — but that clause was completely wiped out when it was amended in August.

Wilcox was to receive $700,000 in 2012, a base pay of $275,000 and a "broadcast/endorsement" payment of $475,000.

Shortly after Wilcox pulled his name out of the running for the same title at Texas last December, he not only re-negotiated a contract that was longer and paid him more money, but one that provided him with more job security.

Sirmon, 34, was set to make $175,000 in 2012.