Sarkisian's Texas Slogan Conjures Up Memories of his UW Exit Strategy

Catchy phrase for program-building also described his abrupt departure in Seattle.

The enthusiasm coming out of Austin, Texas, is unmistakable.

All gas, no brakes.

That's Steve Sarkisian's rallying cry.

His message tweeted over and over.

As he takes charge of a once-exalted Texas Longhorns football program that's been in a deep slumber, the former University of Washington coach is on the college campaign trail these days, selling his program to whomever will listen.

He just signed a 5-star quarterback out of Los Angeles.

He plucked defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski off the Husky staff.

The man called Sark is beating the drum loudly.

All gas, no brakes.

While some Husky fans find themselves a bit impatient with Jimmy Lake's more toned-down approach and envious of all the momentum built at the Hook'em Horns school in a short amount of time, Sark has been on the other side.

He came into Washington in 2009, a dozen years ago, promising a return to glory. He coached the Huskies to 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 and 8-4 records, needing plenty of time to restore the damage done by program sanctions and a bad coaching fit in Tyrone Willingham. 

Sarkisian didn't coach the team against BYU in the 2013 Fight Hunger Bowl — because he had accepted a new job at USC.

He became the first coach to use the Husky job as a stepping stone to another in 53 seasons. 

Since Darrell Royal left the UW in 1956 to coach at Texas.

All gas, no brakes.

While this is not meant to be simply a discontented diatribe aimed at a departed coach, Sarkisian's slogan has conjured up visions of his abrupt departure from Montlake.


Once he hastily pulled his Husky team together to tell them that he was leaving, players rose from their seats, pointed and yelled at him, offering an unnerving negative reaction to his career move.

Trying to calm these guys, of whom he had recruited, brought to Seattle and made many promises, Sarkisian offered them an olive branch. He encouraged them individually to come to his office afterward and talk things out.

He said he was there for them.

Players could only shake their heads when they left the meeting and watched Sark detour from the athletic facilities, immediately climb into his school-provided Mercedes and speed away down Montlake Boulevard.

He never looked back.

Yes, all gas, no brakes.

Follow Dan Raley of Husky Maven on Twitter: @DanRaley1 and @HuskyMaven

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