Willingham to return as Washington football coach
SEATTLE – Tyrone Willingham will return next year despite a 4-9 record that made him the first Washington football coach with three consecutive losing seasons.A university official told The Associated Press on Wednesday of the decision. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had yet to be made.Willingham was to hold his usual end-of-season news conference Wednesday. The briefing had been delayed amid speculation university president Mark Emmert was considering whether to fire him.The Huskies are 11-25 in three years under Willingham. The team played a difficult schedule that featured six ranked opponents and nine teams that will play in bowls.Willingham has two years remaining on the five-year contract he signed in 2004. His contract pays him $1.4 million a year, including deferred compensation. The school would have owed the former coach at Notre Dame and Stanford $3 million had it bought out his contract before Jan. 3.Clarifying Willingham’s status was important because this weekend is key for recruiting. All of Washington’s major prospects are due on campus for official visits.
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