Heyward Headed For Huskies

Updated

It appears that Oregon St. Defensive Backs Coach Keith Heyward is headed north, to join the Washington staff. Husky coach Steve Sarkisian lost cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin to UCLA, and then disposed of the rest of his defensive staff after the Washington defense gave up 777 yards, and 67 points, to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl, which made the 2011 defense statistically the worst in the history of the program.

Sarkisian hired former Oregon linebacker Justin Wilcox as his new defensive coordinator, and Wilcox brought another ex-Duck, Peter Sirmon along to Seattle with him from Tennessee.

Last night, the Seattle Times' Bob Condotta reported in a story primarily on Sarkisian's comments on the "Huskies All Access'' show on ROOT Sports that Heyward's hiring was all but a done deal. Other sources supported the story, and no one offered anything to the contrary, so it appearsed that the Beavers would lose their brightest young coach on the defensive side of the ball, and one who has been an effective recruiter, especially in Southern California.

Heyward hails from southern California, and is a graduate of Taft High, in Woodland Hills.

The University of Washington wrapped up the details this morning, and Heyward's hiring was officially announced this morning.

Heyward, who was known to Oregon St. fans as Keith Heyward-Johnson when he played for Oregon St., starting 35 games for the Beavers from 1997 thru 2000, and was a key player on Oregon St.'s Fiesta Bowl winning 11-1 team, arguably the best Beaver squad ever.

After a short professional career, playing in the Canadian Football League, NFL Europe, and the Arena Football League, Heyward returned to Oregon St. as a graduate assistant, and helped develop current NFL players Keith Ellison & Sabby Piscitelli.

After spending 2007 coaching inside linebackers at Cal Poly-San Luis, Heyward rejoined Oregon St. as an assistant in 2008. Players he has sent into the NFL while the Beavers' cornerbacks coach include Keenan Lewis and Brandon Hughes after the '08 season, both of whom are still starting, and James Dockery.

Brandon Hardin developed well enough under Heyward's tutelage that he was considered worthy of an invite to the East-West Shrine Game despite missing his entire senior season due to a shoulder injury suffered during pre-season camp.

In 2011, Heyward was put in charge of the entire secondary, and oversaw the transition of Jordan Poyer from safety to starting cornerback, which ended with Poyer being the only player from Oregon St. to be named to the 2011 All-Pac-12 team above the Honorable Mention level.

The move would also reunite Heyward with Dan Cozzetto, currently the Huskies' offensive line coach, who was on the staff at Oregon St. when Heyward was a player for the Beavers.

Heyward is currently the lowest paid full-time regular member of the Oregon St. coaching staff, having earned $105.000 in 2011. The move to Washington will result in a raise, as the lowest paid Husky assistant earned $124,000 in 2011, and likely increased security, as Sarkisian and Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward have shown a willingness to award multi-year contracts to assistants.

We'll be watching for confirmation to be coming, but all indications are that it will be It was only a matter of working out the details before it happensed.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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