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January 16, 2012

Bears lose Lupoi to Huskies

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Tosh Lupoi is gone. He is now a Washington Husky. The recruiting prowess that the California football program has shown over the past two years -- largely due to Lupoi -- is now far from certain.

In a release today, the Huskies announced that Lupoi was named defensive line coach and defensive run game coordinator at Washington. That extra title may very well have played the difference-maker in Lupoi's decision, as, despite being the architect of the past three big recruiting classes and the 2010 Rivals.com Recruiter of the Year, had gotten no public recognition from the program, nor a title commensurate with his accomplishments. The current recruiting coordinator for the Bears is linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson.

"Coach Lupoi is a terrific young coach and a dynamic recruiter," Sarkisian said. "He will have an immediate impact with our team both on the field and in recruiting."

Sources close to Lupoi said during his wooing at this time last year by Justin Wilcox (whose name was being bandied about for the Texas defensive coordinator job) that Lupoi would only leave Berkeley -- the school he grew up with, and the school for which he played -- for an additional title.

With the Bears seemingly unwilling to add a title such as recruiting coordinator on to Lupoi's duties as defensive line coach -- and the raise that would go along with that title -- Washington was able to entice him away with not only more money than his current contract, but with the additional title of defensive run game coordinator.

Another factor in Lupoi's departure appears to have been the infamous game against Oregon in 2010, which saw defensive lineman Aaron Tipoti drop to the ground with a feigned injury, in order to stop the Ducks' high-paced offense. A source close to the program says that it was defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast who came up with that particular plan, and that Lupoi was used to shoulder the blame.

With National Signing Day a mere two weeks away, the 2011 class -- ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 10 class in the nation -- is in jeopardy.

More from BearTerritory.net on the status of the class and Lupoi's recruits:

  • Four-star WR Treggs talks Lupoi departure
  • Four-star WR Payton discusses impact
  • Column: With Lupoi gone, what happens to this class?
  • Four-star LB Barton emotional at news
  • Video analysis: Lupoi leaves, are recruits next?
  • Column: Where does D-Line go from here?
  • Column: Why did Lupoi leave?

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