Texas has a new defensive coordinator under new head coach Steve Sarkisian. According to FOX Sports College Football sideline reporter Bruce Feldman, Texas is grabbing a former Pac-12 defensive coordinator for the same role.
Pete Kwiatkowski, the former Washington Huskies defensive coordinator, is headed to Austin. He served in that defensive coordinator role in some capacity with Washington since 2014.
Now, he’ll coach the outside linebackers in addition to becoming the new Longhorns defensive coordinator.
Per Dawgman, Kwiatkowski was earning $1.1 million as Washington’s defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach. The Huskies were ranked inside the Top 3 in defensive scoring every year since Kwiatkowski joined the program from Boise State, including No. 1 four times.
This is a major hire for Sarkisian, who is building an A-caliber staff in Austin, says 247Sports national analyst Josh Pate.
“For all intents and purposes, as far as Texas is concerned, you might as well not even look at Sark’s head-coaching record because they don’t view themselves as hiring that guy — that guy had off-field issues, that guy had a lot to learn — they’re hiring the Alabama version,” Pate said on last week’s episode of 247Sports’ The Late Kick with Josh Pate. “They’re hiring the version of Steve Sarkisian who has worked under (Alabama head coach) Nick Saban and hopefully gleaned a lot of new structural leadership type intangibles from Nick Saban. That’s what they’re hoping. Whether that ends up being the case or not, it remains to be seen. But the belief is they got the new and improved version of Steve Sarkisian.
“He is obviously bought into that philosophy, too, because that’s why he wants a lot of folks that have been in his life for the past five years and who have been around that Alabama machine, too, so that he’s not walking into the door trying to explain to everybody in that organization how it’s supposed to work and it be foreign language to everyone.”
Sarkisian landed several Alabama assistants and has his eyes on several other high-profile assistants to fill out his staff.
Sarkisian was the Broyles Award winner this season after leading the nation’s top offense in Tuscaloosa, a unit that produced Heisman winner Devonta Smith at wide receiver and first-team All-American quarterback Mac Jones.
247Sports’ Brad Crawford contributed to this story.