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

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March 5, 2008 3:38 PM

More on Gervais hiring

Posted by Bob Condotta

Longtime Skyline High coach Steve Gervais was officially introduced as UW's new running backs coach at a press briefing earlier today.

Here are some notes and quotes from their meeting with the media:

--- UW coach Tyrone Willingham said he thought Gervais' overall experience made him a good fit for just about any position on the offense, so he thinks running backs will suit him well. "With his background he's seen a lot of things, done a lot of things,'' Willingham said. "There are a lot of areas he could potenitially coach. I felt like this was an area he could fit in. He's done very well with his quarterbacks and he understands the relationship between the quarterbacks and running backs and offensive line and receivers and has a complete grasp and understanding of the game of football.''

--- Willingham on how he got the idea to hire Gervais: "This idea came from two places. One was in November about the time coach (Trent) Miles said he would be leaving and that thought crossed my mind. And then later during the recruiting process I happened to be talking with one of our alums, not about that situation, and his name came up again and I filed it away with my own thoughts. And then we (Willingham and Gervais) had a casual conversation later in December.''

--- Willingham on whether he had any nerves about hiring a coach without any college experience: "I'm nervous when I hire any coach. I think the process of always trying to get the right people for your program is one that takes some time and takes some thought and you are always very cautious about doing that regardless of how well you know someone.''

--- Willingham said Gervais will recruit in the state of Washington and likely California though his exact responsibility is still to be determined. Obviously he will have a role in recruiting his old high school and others in the area.

--- Gervais echoed Willingham in saying that "we had a casual conversation'' in late December at which time Gervais said he told Willingham "I was very interested if that opportunity may arise to come to the University of Washington. My last son graduated (from high school) and I had a conviction that I wanted to coach through my last son (Riley, who will enroll at UW and walk on the football team as an inside linebacker). Therefore, I put it (the idea to come to UW) out to him (Willingham). At this time in my life it's a tremendous opportunity and a neat challenge in my life. Both of those went together very well so it's something I'm ready for and very excited about.''

--- Gervais said "it's a great thing'' to be able to look back and know that he won a state title in the last HS game he coached but that that had little bearing on deciding to come to UW now. "It's just a time in my life that I'm looking forward to a new challenge and the fact that my children are out of the house, the timing could never have been better.''

--- Gervais said he "had no desire to move out of the area'' and wouldn't have pursued a college position other than UW's.

--- He said he's excited about coaching the running backs. "I think there are some great young athletes here. A lot of things I coached in my program are what coach Willingham teaches here as far as young people, so I think my personality fits. I agree with what he believes, so it's very easy for me to believe in a man and a program that believes in the same things I try to teach my kids.''

--- Gervais said his son Riley and Willingham's son Nathaniel "are the very best of friends'' and because of that, the two men and their families have become close the last few years. That relationship helped persuade Gervaiis to pursue the job as he said coaching in college wasn't necessarily a goal. "If this job had not come up, I would still be coaching at Skyline, no doubt about it. Fifteen years ago this was not a pursuit of mine. It only became a pursuiit last December with the opportunities that came about at Washington.''

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