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Reports: Texas hiring Washington defensive coordinator Peter Kwiatkowski for same role

Under defensive coordinator Peter Kwiatkowski, Washington has routinely produced one of the Pac-12's top defenses. Reports have him joining Steve Sarkisian's staff at Texas.

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian has almost finished hiring a new coaching staff, and his defensive coordinator may be coming from Washington.

Washington defensive coordinator Peter Kwiatkowski is leaving the Huskies to take a similar position with the Longhorns, according to a report from 950 KJR radio in Seattle. Fox Sports later confirmed the report.

A Texas team spokesman could not confirm the reports, and Sarkisian could not be reached.

On a Zoom call Tuesday afternoon with Texas Exes, Sarkisian said he’d like to formally announce the complete coaching staff by week’s end. The offseason workout program officially begins next week, and spring football practice starts March 23.

“In my opinion, it’s the best staff in America,” Sarkisian said on the call. “Some may argue it’s one, two or three, but I feel pretty good about it.”

From left, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte, UT System Board of Regents chairman Kevin Eltife and UT President Jay Hartzell welcome new football coach Steve Sarkisian, second from right, at Sarkisian's introductory press conference. Sarkisian is close to filling his Longhorns staff.

Sarkisian said he was scheduled to meet with the players late Tuesday for the first time since his introduction. With the Longhorns, Sarkisian said he wanted to “start talking philosophies, mindset and core values that are important to us.”

“I think our team is hungry,” Sarkisian said. “They want to do something special here. But now we’ve got to get the energy and focus in the right places.”

Finishing out the staff does take priority, though. Landing Kwiatkowski (pronounced quit-COW-ski) answers a major question about who will run the defense.

Kwiatkowski has been with the Huskies for the last seven seasons. During that time, his defensive units routinely led the Pac-12 in scoring defense as the school churned out 17 NFL draft picks.

In Kwiatkowski's first season in Seattle, the Huskies had three first-team All-Americans and finished the season ranked second nationally in sacks while scoring seven defensive touchdowns. 

Each year afterward has produced a slew of high defensive metrics. The Huskies had the No. 1 scoring defense in the Pac-12 from 2015-18 and finished third in 2018. 

“It all starts with Coach K. He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around in my entire life,” Washington linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven told the Seattle Times in 2017. “He knows more about football than almost anyone on this staff. I couldn’t even tell you what this would look like without him.”

In that same interview, Burr-Kirven called Kwiatkowski an "evil genius."

Kwiatkowski came to Washington after serving as Boise State's defensive coordinator from 2010-13. He graduated from Boise State and was named to the school’s athletic hall of fame in 1996.

Kwiatkowski would replace Chris Ash, who came to Texas prior to last season. 

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.