Moos would consider UW job
Seattle Times staff reporter
Oregon athletic director Bill Moos said yesterday it is "premature, at best" to consider him a candidate to succeed Barbara Hedges at Washington.
But he also left the door wide open to become a candidate, saying "the Washington job intrigues me" and UW "could be and should be one of the top five or six programs in the country."
Moos, 53, has been athletic director at Oregon since 1995, during which time he has helped remake the UO athletic program into one of the best in the nation, particularly the football team, which recorded its two best seasons in 2000 and 2001 (a combined 21-3 record). Moos has also overseen an expansion of Autzen Stadium that was completed before the 2002 season.
And since Oregon has also beaten UW four times in football since Moos took over, that success, hasn't gone unnoticed by Huskies boosters, many of whom have pointed admiringly at the job Moos has done in Eugene.
Moos said he's not looking to leave Oregon, but...
He pointed out he has deep ties to Washington state. He grew up outside Spokane before moving to Olympia when he was 14. He seriously considered playing football for the Huskies but instead attended WSU, where he was an all-conference lineman as a senior in 1972. His wife, Kendra, recently bought 56 acres near Spokane that they plan to retire on.
"One day we are going to return to Washington, whether it's retirement or professionally," Moos said.
He also counts as close friends several UW alums, including Bob Ferguson, now general manager of the Seahawks. Also, his oldest daughter, Christa, is a UW grad who worked for a while in the Washington athletic department.
"At this point, it's very early in the process," Moos said. "But the Washington job is probably the only one I'd be interested in leaving Oregon for if everything met my expectations."
Moos said he hasn't talked to anyone at Washington, and UW officials said yesterday the school hasn't yet begun putting together a search committee to find a new athletic director. Interim AD Dick Thompson said during a meeting with the media yesterday that he initially thought he might hold the job for four months but now thinks it could be six.
Moos said he wouldn't be scared away by the recent scandals at Washington that forced Hedges to retire prematurely.
"Anybody that steps into that job is going to face some things that have been front-page material, but the right person can get that accomplished," Moos said.
Moos said the positives in the job far outweigh the negative.
"One is the tremendous tradition and legacy," Moos said. "The other is its unlimited potential ... It has what I really feel is as close to a Big Ten atmosphere as there is in the Pac-10, having 70,000-plus for every home game ... There's no hidden agenda (in saying that). A lot of places don't have that. We have strived to do some things here to level our playing field. But Washington has many of the same things we have and some that we can't have, like population."
It probably won't be popular in Eugene for Moos to publicly admit the UW job interests him.
"But in our profession, there are so many people who don't come forward and say 'Yeah, I'm interested in that job,' " Moos said. "My whole point is that we are very content where we are at and could finish our careers here. But at the same time, there are aspects of the Washington position that are appealing and if I'm fortunate enough to explore them and find that it would be something I wanted to pursue, then I'll let people know that."
Moos also said he's at an age where "it's nice to have the potential to have some options."
One potential complication is salary. Hedges, who officially retires tomorrow, made $255,000 while Moos makes $314,000.
Moos has worked in athletics since 1982, serving as assistant athletic director and then associate athletic director at WSU from 1982-90 and then becoming athletic director at Montana, where he worked for five years before being hired at Oregon.
Myers on board
UW is expected to officially announce the hiring of Brent Myers as its offensive-line coach today. Myers was UW's line coach from 2000-02 before leaving for Utah, where he was also assistant head coach. UW coach Keith Gilbertson apparently wants to bring Myers back to help implement parts of Utah's spread-option offense into the Huskies' attack.
Gilbertson has also indicated there may be one more move left on his coaching staff. That move, however, isn't expected to involve former head coach Jim Lambright.
Gilbertson is on the road recruiting and wasn't available for comment. But through a UW spokesman, Gilbertson relayed the message that while he and Lambright are longtime friends "they have never had a discussion regarding a coaching position on the current staff and there are no current openings."
Lambright's forte as an assistant was defense — specifically linebackers — and three of the team's four defensive assistant positions seem set: line coach Randy Hart, coordinator and cornerbacks coach Phil Snow, and linebackers coach Chris Tormey.
There have been rumors of a restructuring of the staff that could result in a defensive opening. However, that rumor involves the possible return of former Husky Nigel Burton, defensive-backs coach at Oregon State.
Neuheisel to Oakland?
Rumblings persist out of the Bay Area that Rick Neuheisel is on the list of candidates to become the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders. One area newspaper reported this week that Neuheisel had been contacted by the team but not interviewed.
A Raiders spokesman said yesterday that the team has interviewed five candidates and that Neuheisel is not one of them. He would not comment, however, on whether Neuheisel is a candidate.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com
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