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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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February 12, 2008 8:23 PM

White just looking to help

Posted by Bob Condotta

A few of us had a chance to talk for a little while today with Washington's newest assistant coach, Brian White.

And while his job title remains a little uncertain, he made it clear he's just happy to he here no matter his role.

The 42-year-old White officially began work this week. He will likely hold the titles of tight ends and special teams coach. But he also has significant background as a running backs coach, a position that remains open on the UW staff, one that figures to be filled in a few weeks.

Husky coach Tyrone Willingham says he's leaving the possibility open that White will move to running backs coach depending on who he finds for the other job.;

"I told coach Willingham I'll do whatever he deems best necessary,'' White said. "I'm comfortable and confident whatever the responsibilities are that I will perform them well and the position he decides will be a great fit.''

White was the offensive coordinator and also coached tight ends at Syracuse the last two seasons but was fired after the Orange finished 2-10 and 114th in the country in offense. He previously had been a running backs coach and offensive coordinator at Wisconsin.

It was while he was with the Badgers that he said he first got to know Willingham.

He was the RB coach there in 1999 when Ron Dayne won the Heisman and led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl against Willingham's Stanford team.

White said he was asked to fill in for Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarez at a press conference one day and talked for a while with Willingham.

A few years later, in the spring of 2003, he made an extended visit to UW, asked by then-Husky coach Rick Neuheisel if he could come out and share some thoughts on how to jump start Washington's running game.

"They wanted to upgrade their running game and we had done a great job of it at Wisconsin and they wanted to get some ideas,'' White said.

On the flight home he got stuck for five days in the Denver-area due to a blizzard that snowed in the Denver airport.

But the trip made an impression on him, he said, and after he was fired at Syracuse, he said he "vigorously pursued'' the UW job. He also knew a few other members of UW's staff, notably seconday coach J.D. Williams, who coached with his brother, Chris, at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

"I just really enjoyed my experiences here and I have an understanding of the tremendous set of values that coach Willingham has and that's why I wanted to expose myself and my family to them,'' said White, who has an 11-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son. "I just really wanted to be part of the program here.''

White said he coached tight ends at Syracuse the past two years and also a year at UNLV in the early 90s along with extensive running backs experience at Wisconsin.

He has never been a special teams coach in name but said he has coached "various phases'' of it through the years, including kickoff return and punt return.

"I'm excited to be able to work with that unit because I think it's a really critical phase of the game and one that is a common thread on your team where you are integrating both offensive and defensive players,'' he said. "So it's exciting to be able to put both phases together on one unit, which you don't do in any other way.''

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