First-year Texas coach Steve Sarkisian has his new defensive coordinator. After a search that included some high-profile names, it appears Washington defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski will join the Longhorns in the same capacity, according to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic. The news was first reported Monday evening by The Football Brainiacs.
Kwiatkowski just finished his seventh year with the Huskies -- all of which have featured him in either the DC or Co-DC roles with team head coach Jimmy Lake. Kwiatkowski came to Washington from Boise State in 2014 with former head coach Chris Petersen. He served as the team's DC from 2014-17 before being named the Co-DC with Lake from 2018-19, at which time he also coached outside linebackers. With Lake succeeding Petersen a year ago, Kwiatkowski returned to his sole DC role while continuing his position coach duties.
Interest in Kwiatkowski is warranted. From 2015-18, Washington had the Pac-12's best scoring defense and finished in the top 10 nationally in that category three times. Despite a difficult season in 2020 due to COVID-19, Washington still finished second in the Pac-12 with 25 points per game allowed.
This is a significant pickup for Sarkisian since the search for his new DC has featured some big names. CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd previously reported that Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom and Mississippi State defensive coordinator Zach Arnett all interviewed for the job.