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Originally published January 17, 2012 at 8:03 PM | Page modified January 18, 2012 at 10:55 PM

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Huskies complete coaching staff by luring Eric Kiesau from California

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian completed his coaching staff by hiring Eric Kiesau from California. Kiesau is expected to be the Huskies' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Huskies coaching staff completed

Coach Position
Justin Wilcox Defensive coordinator
Dan Cozzetto Offensive line coach, run game coordinator
Jimmie Dougherty Wide receivers coach, passing game coordinator
Keith Heyward Defensive backs coach
Tosh Lupoi Defensive line coach, defensive run game coordinator
Johnny Nansen Assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator, special teams coordinator
Peter Sirmon Linebackers coach
Joel Thomas Running backs coach, associate head coach, offense
Eric Kiesau Offensive coordinator, quarterbacks

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The Washington Huskies completed the makeover of their football coaching staff Tuesday by luring away another assistant from California — Eric Kiesau, expected to be the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

While UW did not announce Kiesau's hiring Tuesday, California announced his departure and sources said he would soon be joining the Washington staff to replace Doug Nussmeier, who left to become offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Kiesau, 39, had been the receivers coach and passing game coordinator last season at Cal after a five-year stint at Colorado, where he was offensive coordinator in 2009 and 2010.

He was the second assistant in two days to leave Cal to come to UW, following Tosh Lupoi, who on Monday was named defensive line coach and defensive run game coordinator.

And like Lupoi, Kiesau comes with a reputation as a solid recruiter, having helped Cal get commitments this year from highly-touted receivers Jordan Payton of Westlake Village, Calif., and Cedric Dozier of Lakes.

Each player was reported Tuesday as possibly re-evaluating his decision and considering Washington.

And as with Lupoi, reported to have been given a multiyear deal worth roughly $500,000 a year, speculation was the Huskies simply gave Kiesau an offer he couldn't turn down. BearTerritory.net, a Cal athletics website, reported Kiesau was given a three-year contract worth at least $700,000 annually. Washington would not confirm contract details and said it would release salary figures later.

In a statement released through the school, Cal coach Jeff Tedford said the Bears couldn't match UW's offers for the two coaches.

"We exhausted all of our resources to try to retain Tosh and Eric within the confines and continuity of our coaching staff, but both chose to take advantage of new opportunities," Tedford said.

Washington last year had a budget for its assistant coaches of roughly $2.3 million and a total outlay for football coaches of roughly $4.5 million, which a USA Today survey said was second among public schools in the Pac-12 to Oregon's $5.1 million (USC and Stanford are private schools).

The Huskies are undoubtedly over that figure with the five new hires it has made in the past three weeks in reshaping its defensive staff — which included luring away defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox from Tennessee — and replacing Nussmeier. But like all Pac-12 schools, UW will soon be flush with money from the Pac-12's new 12-year, $3 billion TV deal that has seen other conference schools such as Washington State and Arizona also greatly increase spending on coaches.

"I think you're going to continue to see that around our conference now, especially with the new TV money coming in," UW coach Steve Sarkisian said last week.

ESPN.com recruiting analyst Greg Biggins said the money should prove worth it for UW, which is hoping to take the next step from consecutive 7-6 seasons under Sarkisian to true contender status in the Pac-12 North.

"I think they hit home runs everywhere across the board," Biggins said. "This may be the best staff that Washington has had in a long, long, long time and probably one of the best in the country. There are a lot of experienced, good recruiters who work hard."

They will all go to work hoping to boost a UW recruiting class generally ranked in the mid-40s nationally and in the bottom half of the Pac-12.

All five new coaches have ties to Pac-12 schools — Lupoi and Kiesau from Cal, defensive backs coach Keith Heyward having played and coached at Oregon State, Wilcox having played at Oregon and coached at Cal, and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon having played at Oregon.

Kiesau was a quarterback at Portland State and has been coaching at the FBS level since 2000, when he was running backs and receivers coach at Utah State. He moved to Cal to work with Tedford from 2002 through 2005 before moving to Colorado to work under Dan Hawkins from 2006 through 2010 before returning to Cal in 2011.

Washington stabilized its staff as recruiting hits high gear with two weekends for official visits left before the Feb. 1 signing day.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @bcondotta.

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