|Willingham's final game at UW arrives|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 01 December 2008 14:16|
Many Washington fans would probably prefer if there weren't any flashbacks of Willingham's tumultuous four years - and his 11-36 record - that ends Saturday when the winless Huskies try to avoid the first 0-12 season in Pac-10 Conference history at California.
Those fans are more interested in the search for Willingham's replacement, a process that appears to be picking up speed.
``It's killing us. We do follow the rumors, 'Oh, we're going to have him, oh, we're going to have him.' Some of us just joke around with it, but we're just waiting,'' said Washington cornerback Quinton Richardson, the only player to show up Monday at Willingham's final weekly news conference. ``At the same time we've got to be focused on the game ahead. We just have to worry about this game, get it out of the way and in time we'll know. Patience is a virtue.''
tor Scott Woodward is known to have only two candidates interview so far: Fresno State coach Pat Hill and Notre Dame offensive coordinator Michael Haywood. Hill interviewed on Saturday in Seattle, only a few hours after flatly saying ``no'' when asked if he had any contact with the Huskies following Fresno State's 61-10 loss at Boise State.
Hill had a different story on Sunday, telling the Fresno Bee: ``It was a great conversation. And in the end, I'll say this: Whoever accepts that job is going to have a great challenge but a great opportunity to be successful.''
Other names rumored to be on Woodward's secretive wish list include Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, Cincinnati's Brian Kelly and Utah's Kyle Wittingham. The school has declined all comment on the coaching search.
One coach whose name seemingly pops up with many coach openings is California's Jeff Tedford.
``I don't pay much attention to it. I don't really look at the papers or get caught up in Internet stuff. I kind of hear it through the grapevine a little bit, but it's not something I really take too seriously,'' Tedford said on Monday, who added that Washington has not contacted him regarding its opening.
ss to rival Washington State in the Apple Cup. Instead, the players and coaches are being asked once more to muster up some energy and put forth one more effort for their lame-duck head coach.
``It's never ideal, it's not what you'd love to have happen. But having it come a week after you've played your traditional rival is better than having it the next Saturday,'' Willingham said.
Last year, Washington played at Hawaii the Saturday after losing to Washington State. Both Willingham and Tedford agreed that the extra week in-between makes it an easier adjustment.
As for his final game, Richardson said Willingham started to have individual meetings with players following the announcement in late October that he would be out at the end of the season, but the coach said he would approach this week just like any other.
``There won't be any sentimental conversations surrounding my last ballgame or anything of that nature,'' Willingham said. ``It's always been about our football team and our football players.''