Rivals.com reported that Haywood was in Seattle on Wednesday night to interview with UW athletic director Scott Woodward. The two know each other from years when they both worked at Louisiana State, where they crossed paths from 1999-2002. Haywood was an assistant at LSU from 1995-2002 and recently called Woodward "a very good friend." According...

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On the day the University of Washington completed an expected procedural step in the search for a new football coach, there was also a report of a new candidate for the job — Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Haywood.

Rivals.com reported that Haywood was scheduled to arrive in Seattle on Wednesday night and is expected to interview today with UW athletic director Scott Woodward. The two know each other from years when they both worked at Louisiana State, where they crossed paths from 1999 to 2002. Haywood was an assistant at LSU from 1995 to 2002 and recently called Woodward “a very good friend.”

According to the Rivals report, Haywood was not at Notre Dame’s practice Wednesday and had been granted permission to interview for the job.

He is a 1986 graduate of Notre Dame and has worked with the Irish since 2005. He was named assistant coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association in 2005.

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However, Notre Dame’s offense has struggled this season and coach Charlie Weis announced this week he was retaining play-calling duties, which he had taken over last week when Haywood missed practices due to the death of a cousin. Haywood, 44, was a flanker and cornerback as a player at Notre Dame.

Woodward said earlier in the day that the Huskies were not close to naming a coach.

“This is kind of like courting your wife or girlfriend,” he said. “We are at the hand-holding and kissing stage. We are not at the altar yet.”

Part of the process included naming the 13-person advisory committee.

Unlike most coaching searches at UW, however, the committee was not named a “search” committee as it has been made clear that president Mark Emmert and athletic director Woodward will make the ultimate decision.

“It is clearly an advisory committee that is set forth to give us the qualities and characteristics they want the next coach to have,” Woodward said.

The committee will be chaired by Pat Dobel, a professor of public affairs who is UW’s faculty athletic representative to the Pac-10.

The committee, made up of faculty, coaches and community members, also includes quarterback Jake Locker and former receiver Andre Riley.

In a news release, the school said that the committee “is expected to provide its input to the search process by the first week of December.”

That indicates a hire of sometime after the first week of December, though Woodward said it doesn’t rule out that an announcement could come more quickly.

But he said the likelihood is it won’t happen until early to mid-December.


• An already murky tailback situation for UW grew even more unclear as projected starter Brandon Johnson missed practices Tuesday and Wednesday because of a death in the family.

Coach Tyrone Willingham said Johnson is expected back today but that missing so much practice could impact his playing time Saturday.

Terrance Dailey or Willie Griffin would start if Johnson doesn’t.

Both have been struggling with injuries — Dailey a hip pointer that limited him to one play Saturday against UCLA, and Griffin a toe injury that caused him to miss the game entirely.

But both were back at practice Wednesday and alternated on the No. 1 unit in Johnson’s absence.

• For the second straight day, the Huskies worked in shorts or sweats along with helmets and shoulder pads. Teams usually practice in full pads on either Tuesday or Wednesday, and usually both days. But UW apparently might take the whole week off from full pads.

• Willingham said CB Matt Mosley suffered a partial knee ligament tear Saturday. He won’t require surgery but is likely out for the season.

Gary Rogers, the fifth-year senior WSU quarterback from Kamiak High who suffered a season-ending neck injury against Portland State on Sept. 20, told KJR radio Wednesday night he hopes to regain a sixth year of NCAA eligibility.

“I’m definitely in the process of looking into that,” he said. “I’d love to come back.”

Rogers had thrown only 52 passes and never started during his previous four years at WSU. But NCAA athletes are on a five-year “clock,” and exceptions are granted only through an appeals process.

• As expected, WSU QB Kevin Lopina returned to practice and is expected to start Saturday. Lopina was cleared by team doctors after lifting weights for the second consecutive day Wednesday morning. He misfired on many throws and did not appear to be sharp in practice.

• A bit of a scuffle occurred toward the end of WSU’s practice after Lopina took a hit from a defender. Several players got involved, but it ended quickly.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com; Bud Withers and freelancer Brandon Scheller contributed to this article.

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