SEATTLE — The Huskies treated Tuesday’s practice like a normal second day of preparation during a typical game week, even as one coach reportedly was hired and the holdovers from the previous staff wondered about their fate.
The events of the past couple of weeks have been anything but typical during Washington’s coaching transition, but as the Fight Hunger Bowl creeps closer, interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo said that, yes, normal routines are starting to return.
“The excitement builds by day and these guys have done a great job of plugging through, and we had another good (practice) today,” Tuiasosopo said. “It wasn’t perfect, but Tuesdays aren’t perfect. So we’ll correct ’em and come back tomorrow.”
New Washington coach Chris Petersen has been around the practice field, but his focus has been recruiting players and assembling his coaching staff. He has hired Brent Pease, a former Florida offensive coordinator, coachingsearch.com reported on Tuesday.
Petersen is not expected to be involved much, if at all, in UW’s preparations to play Brigham Young on Dec. 27 in San Francisco, and he’s not expected to be available for media interviews before then.
For the next 10 days, this is Tuiasosopo’s team. And, he said, it’s a motivated group.
“It’s a lot of fun,” the former Huskies quarterback said. “It’s a lot of work, but I love doing this. I love coaching. Each day’s a new day to learn something new. These guys are great. I love being with the staff that’s still here and these kids. We’ve got a few days left, so we’re going to take advantage of all the days that we have.”
While assistant coaches that remained from Steve Sarkisian’s staff are still in “coaching limbo,” according to one source close to UW, Pease is expected to join Petersen’s staff. It’s unclear what role Pease will have at UW.
Pease was one of two Florida assistant coaches fired earlier this month after the Gators’ first losing season since 1979. Florida finished the season ranked 112th in the nation in total offense.
Before heading to Florida in 2012 season, Pease, 49, was an assistant under Petersen at Boise State from 2006 to 2011, serving first as the wide receivers coach and then as offensive coordinator in 2011.
A Moscow, Idaho, native, Pease spent two years as the quarterback at Walla Walla Community College before starring at Montana in 1985 and ‘86. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings and spent two years with the Houston Oilers.
Other coaches play a waiting game.
“It’s been kind of weird, in a sense,” UW nose tackle Danny Shelton said. “Everybody’s anxious to see what’s happening next. We have coaches leaving left and right and we have coaches that stick around and show their faith and trust in us. … For them to stay not knowing what will happen next is just a cool thing to see in these coaches and it makes us want to work for them even more.”
Safety flips for UW
Petersen received his third known recruiting commitment for the Huskies on Tuesday.
Three-star safety Joseph (JoJo) McIntosh of West Hills, Calif., had committed to UCLA until changing to the Huskies.
“I love coach Petersen, and coach (Jimmy) Lake will be up there soon,” McIntosh told Scout.com. “They also have what I want to major in and what I want to study — marine biology/oceanography. That was my ultimate decision.”
Lake, a UW assistant coach in 2004, has been Petersen’s defensive backs coach at Boise State.
Washington has eight known commitments for the Class of 2014, after quarterback Jalen Greene and defensive back Darren Gardenhire committed on Monday.