As Husky Nation celebrates last night's Pac-12 Championship, its important to pay proper tribute to the man most responsible. No, it's not coach Chris Petersen. I'm talking about Pat Haden, the former AD at USC.
Three years ago, Husky Football was mired in mediocrity with "Seven Win Steve", aka Steve Sarkisian. But more than being a mediocre football coach, Sark was also a troubled alcoholic and a man of questionable scruples.
But Scott Woodward, who was then UW's AD, kept Sarkisian in place. He never had the courage to fire Sark. And for five long years, Sarkisian roamed the sideline of Husky Stadium. Five years we can't ever get back.
But in December 2013, Haden inadvertently made the move that Woodward couldn't, or wouldn't. During clandestine interviews, Haden bought Sarkisian's line of BS and hired him. Whisked him away, as a matter of fact, to LA-LA Land... Los Angeles.
And this opened the door for Washington to hire Chris Petersen from Boise State. Now in his third year, Coach Pete has guided the Huskies to a 12-1 record and the Pac-12 Championship. Washington's first conference title in fifteen years.
It's been a long, long wait. But the wait is now over. The Petersen Era is just hitting its stride.
And for this, we pay tribute and appreciation to the man who made it all possible... Pat Haden.