Sarkisian making the "V" for victory sign after a 2008 fall practice.
|Annual salary||$2.25 million|
March 8, 1974 |
|El Camino (JC)
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|El Camino (QB)
Oakland Raiders (QB)
|Head coaching record|
College Football Data Warehouse
|Accomplishments and honors|
Sammy Baugh Trophy (1996)
Steve Sarkisian (born March 8, 1974) is an American football coach and former player of American and Canadian football. He is currently the head football coach at the University of Washington, a position he has held since the 2009 season. Sarkisian played college football as a quarterback at Brigham Young University and professionally with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. He has worked with quarterbacks during most of his coaching career.
Playing career 
USC and El Camino College 
After a standout baseball and football career at West High School in Torrance, California, Sarkisian's size (6', 165 lb) did not attract any college football offers. He began his collegiate athletic career in 1992 at USC as a non-scholarship middle infielder on the Trojans baseball team. He struggled playing NCAA Division I baseball and transferred after a semester to El Camino College, a two-year community college in his hometown of Torrance, where he played shortstop. At the urging of El Camino head football coach John Featherstone, one of his instructors, Sarkisian restarted his football career. As a redshirt freshman in 1993, Sarkisian earned All-Mission Conference honors. In his sophomore season, he was named a junior college All-American after setting a national junior college record by completing 72.4 percent of his passes.
Brigham Young University 
As a junior, Sarkisian transferred to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, for the 1995 season. He was recruited by DeWayne Walker, then an assistant coach at for the BYU Cougars. Although Kansas State and Washington State showed interest, Sarkisian chose BYU primarily because it was viewed as his best opportunity to play immediately at the Division I-A level as a transferring redshirt junior. The previous starting quarterback, John Walsh, was also from Torrance and a friend of Sarkisian. Walsh left school a year early to enter the 1995 NFL Draft, creating a void in the depth chart; Sarkisian accepted a scholarship with BYU in December 1994.
At BYU, Sarkisian was coached by offensive coordinator Norm Chow under head coach Lavell Edwards. As a junior, Sarkisian passed for 3,437 yards and 20 touchdowns, earning All-Western Athletic Conference honors. Sarkisian finished the season in spectacular fashion, completing 31 of 34 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns in BYU's 45–28 victory over Fresno State. His completion percentage in the game (91.2 percent) set an NCAA record. Two of the three incompletions Sarkisian threw in the game were intentionally thrown out of bounds to avoid the pass rush.
As a senior, Sarkisian opened BYU's 1996 season by passing for 536 yards and six touchdowns in the Cougars' 41–37 upset victory over Texas A&M in the Pigskin Classic. The 536 yards passing were the most ever by a player against Texas A&M. Sarkisian finished the game with a 46-yard touchdown pass to K. O. Kealaluhi to seal the victory.
BYU finished the regular season with a 13–1 record, defeating Wyoming, 28–25, in the WAC Championship Game. Sarkisian passed for 4,027 yards and 33 touchdowns during the regular season. His 173.6 passer rating led the entire NCAA. For his efforts, he was named WAC Offensive Player of the Year and a second-team All-American. Sarkisian was also awarded the Sammy Baugh Trophy as the nation's top passer, making him the seventh BYU quarterback to win the honor. He was also featured on the cover of TV Guide in December 1996. BYU finished the season with 19–15 win over Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Sarkisian threw a pair of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lead the Cougars to a come-from-behind victory. BYU finished the season with a 14–1 record and ranked fifth in the nation in both the AP Poll and Coaches' Poll. The Cougars became the first Division I-A team in NCAA history to win 14 games in a single season. Sarkisian's 162.0 career passing efficiency rating is third on the all-time NCAA list.
Canadian Football League 
Sarkisian played professionally for three seasons, 1997 to 1999, for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was a starter in the 1999 season, finishing with 16 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions. His team finished with a dismal 3–15 record, prompting Sarkisian to end his playing career.
Coaching career 
El Camino College 
Sarkisian's coaching career began in 2000 when he returned to El Camino College as its quarterbacks coach.
USC and Oakland Raiders 
The following season, Sarkisian joined his former coach, Norm Chow, at USC. Chow was hired as USC's offensive coordinator by new head coach Pete Carroll. Sarkisian worked as an offensive assistant in 2001 and then as quarterbacks coach in 2002 and 2003. In 2004, Sarkisian moved to the professional ranks as quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders of the NFL. Oakland compiled more than 4,000 passing yards, ranking eighth out of 32 NFL teams in passing yardage. Sarkisian returned to USC for the 2005 season with the title of assistant head coach added to his duties as quarterbacks coach. In January 2007, Sarkisian interviewed with the Raiders for their vacant head coaching position, but pulled himself out of the running to stay at USC. Sarkisian was named to replace Lane Kiffin as USC's offensive coordinator when Kiffin took the head coaching job with the Raiders.
The University of Washington introduced Sarkisian as its 23rd head football coach during a press conference in the Don James Center at Husky Stadium on December 8, 2008. Sarkisian signed a contract that paid him $1.75 million in 2009, with a salary increasing to $2.3 million by 2013. Down in Los Angeles, John Morton succeeded Sarkisian as offensive coordinator at USC.
In Sarkisian's first year as head coach in 2009, Washington scored a huge upset of Sarkisian's former team, defeating #3 USC 16–13 with a last second field goal. Washington then lost six of their next seven games, but finished the season in strong fashion, dominating rival Washington State, 30–0, to claim the Apple Cup, and scoring another upset with a rout of #19 California, 42–10. Washington finished the year with a 5–7 record, a dramatic improvement over the previous season, a winless 0–12.
With Pete Carroll's departure from USC to coach the Seattle Seahawks on January 9, 2010, Sarkisian was discussed in the media as a potential replacement, but Sarkisian stated that he had not received an offer to become head coach of the Trojans. Despite his public comments, Sarkisian was still considered a top candidate for the position by USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett. However, Sarkisian expressed reservations about leaving Washington after one year, and decided not to pursue the position. Ultimately, Lane Kiffin was hired for the position.
In his second season as head coach of Washington, the Huskies went 6–6 in 2010. The Huskies defeated USC again with a game-ending field goal, this time in Los Angeles. At mid-season, UW had alternated losses and wins and was 3–3, then were outscored 138–30 in the next three games, all losses against Arizona, Stanford, and Oregon. They fell to 3–6, but finished the year on a high note with three consecutive wins and were bowl eligible for the first time since the 2002 season. The Huskies concluded the season with a stunning 19–7 victory over #18 Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl, avenging a 56–21 blowout home loss to the Huskers in September.
With star quarterback Jake Locker departing to the NFL and a suddenly depleted linebacking corps, many expected the Huskies to regress in the 2011 season, Sarkisian's third. Greatly exceeding expectations, the Huskies started out 6–2 and were undefeated in conference play at the halfway point of the season. At one point, they were ranked in all major polls for the first time during his short tenure. Unfortunately the rest of their season was a different story: they went 1–3 in their remaining conference games and then lost in the Alamo Bowl to Baylor, 67–56. They ultimately finished 7–6.
In 2012, the Washington Huskies finished 7-6 after a 26-28 loss to Boise St in the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas.
New contract 
Sarkisian's original contract in 2009 was for five years and paid $1.75 million in guaranteed money for the first year, rising to $2.0 million in 2011 and $2.3 million in 2013. Following the 2010 season and bowl victory, he signed a new five-year contract that paid $2.25 million in guaranteed money in 2011, rising to $2.85 million in 2015.
Personal life and family 
Born in Torrance, California, Sarkisian is the youngest of seven children, the only one in the family born in California; the older six siblings were born in Massachusetts. Sarkisian's ethnicity is Armenian and Irish. His father is an ethnic Armenian, born and raised in Tehran, Iran, and immigrated to the United States at age 18 to attend college. Sarkisian's mother is an Irish-American from Massachusetts. Although he attended Brigham Young University, a Mormon institution, Sarkisian is Catholic. He is married and has two daughters and a son.
Sarkisian's running backs 
Though known primarily for his quarterbacks, Sarkisian, along with running backs coach Joel Thomas, has produced a 1000-yard rusher every year that he has been at Washington. On December 24, 2012, Coach Thomas officially accepted the position of running backs coach at The University of Arkansas. 
- 2009: Chris Polk (1,113 yards)
- 2010: Chris Polk (1,415 yards)
- 2011: Chris Polk (1,488 yards)
- 2012: Bishop Sankey (1,439 yards)
NFL players coached 
|Draft Year||Player Name||Position||Round||Pick||Team|
|2010||Donald Butler||LB||3rd Round||79th Overall||San Diego Chargers|
|2010||Daniel Te'o-Nesheim||DE||3rd Round||86th Overall||Philadelphia Eagles|
|2011||Jake Locker||QB||1st Round||8th Overall||Tennessee Titans|
|2011||Mason Foster||LB||3nd Round||84th Overall||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|2011||Dorson Boyce||FB||N/A||N/A||Undrafted (signed with Seattle)|
|2011||D'Andre Goodwin||WR||N/A||N/A||Undrafted (signed with Denver)|
|2011||Austin Sylvester||FB||N/A||N/A||Undrafted (signed with Denver)|
|2012||Alameda Ta'amu||DT||4th Round||109th Overall||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|2012||Senio Kelemete||OT||5th Round||151st Overall||Arizona Cardinals|
|2012||Devin Aguilar||WR||N/A||N/A||Undrafted (signed with Tennessee)|
|2012||Erik Folk||K||N/A||N/A||Undrafted (signed with Atlanta)|
|2012||Jermaine Kearse||WR||N/A||N/A||Undrafted (signed with Seattle)|
|2012||Chris Polk||RB||N/A||N/A||Undrafted (signed with Philadelphia)|
|2013||Desmond Trufant||CB||1st Round||22nd Overall||Atlanta Falcons|
|2013||Jonathan Amosa||FB||N/A||N/A||Undrafted (signed with Green Bay)|
|2013||Justin Glenn||S||N/A||N/A||Undrafted (signed with Kansas City)|
Head coaching record 
|Washington Huskies (Pac-10/Pac-12 Conference) (2009–present)|
|2011||Washington||7–6||5–4||3rd (North)||L Alamo|
|2012||Washington||7–6||5–4||4th (North)||L Maaco|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
- The Seattle Times – Washington extends coach Steve Sarkisian's contract through 2015 – 2011-01-21
- Stephens, Ken. – "QB GENEALOGY – Steve Sarkisian is latest in long line of talented BYU quarterbacks". – Dallas Morning News. – December 31, 1996.
- Sports Illustrated – The Sky's the Limit – 1996-10-07 – accessed 2011-09-28
- Bob Condotta, New UW football coach Steve Sarkisian makes a quick rise in profession, The Seattle Times, December 14, 2008, Accessed January 26, 2009.
- "L.A. serial: 'All My Coaches'". The Oregonian.
- "B.Y.U. Edges Texas A&M In Opener". The New York Times. August 25, 1996. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
- "All signs point to Sarkisian takeover".
- "SARKISIAN WON'T GO TO RAIDERS.".
- "Washington To Introduce Sarkisian As New UW Football Coach".
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer – Rowdy reception for 'Sark' – 2008-12-08
- "Iowa State's Chizik hired to coach Auburn".
- The Seattle Times
- "Washington's Sarkisian: USC hasn't called about coaching vacancy". Sports Illustrated. 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-01-13. "In a text message to The Associated Press late Sunday night, Sarkisian said USC had not contacted him about their coaching vacancy that became official when Carroll accepted the head job with the Seattle Seahawks on Monday morning. Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said Monday night he also hadn't been told of anyone contacting Sarkisian."[dead link]
- Shelburne, Ramona. "How USC went from Carroll to Kiffin". ESPN LA. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- "QB SHOO-IN AS NEXT BYU STAR". Daily News (New York). September 5, 1996.[dead link]
- Go Huskies.com – football – Steve Sarkisian
- "Chris Polk Player Profile". University of Washington. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Bishop Sankey Stats". ESPN. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Arkansas Officially Announces the Hiring of Joel Thomas". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-12-26.