The makeup of Tyrone Willingham's first coaching staff at Washington could become clearer soon. Specifically, after Notre Dame finishes its season tonight in the Insight Bowl against...

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The makeup of Tyrone Willingham’s first coaching staff at Washington could become clearer soon.


Specifically, after Notre Dame finishes its season tonight in the Insight Bowl against Oregon State in Phoenix.


Willingham coached Notre Dame for three years until being fired and then hired at UW earlier this month. It is thought several of Willingham’s former assistants might follow him to UW, but that he might be waiting until after the Irish plays their final game before making anything official.


There have been reports that offensive line coach Mike Denbrock has already accepted an offer to become the new line coach at UW. Denbrock, who also was the line coach at Stanford in 2001, was regarded as one of the better recruiters on Willingham’s Notre Dame staff.


Kent Baer, who will be Notre Dame’s head coach for tonight’s game after serving as defensive coordinator the past three years, said during a news conference yesterday that he has talked with Willingham “a few times” about coming to UW — likely as defensive coordinator. He said that he is “definitely” interested in coming to Seattle.


However, Baer also is listed as one of three finalists to become the head coach at New Mexico State. A decision on that job is expected by the end of the week.


“I’m just not quite sure for two or three days which direction I’m headed,” Baer said yesterday.


Baer said he thought four other Notre Dame assistants had job offers, though it’s uncertain if any of them — other than Denbrock — are headed to UW. One Notre Dame assistant not coming to Seattle is offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick, who also was offensive coordinator at UW in 1994-95.


It is thought that Willingham will retain linebackers coach Chris Tormey and defensive line coach Randy Hart off UW’s staff from last season. The other seven UW assistants have been dismissed. Tormey and Hart, meanwhile, have continued to work as usual, though no announcement has been made that they are staying at UW.


Willingham is out of town for the holidays. Schools can’t resume recruiting until after the New Year.