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November 19, 2008

Haywood to interview for Washington job

Irish offensive coordinator Mike Haywood, who was excused from practice by Charlie Weis earlier this week for "personal reasons," is expected to meet with University of Washington athletic department officials to discuss the job opening left vacate by the firing of head coach Tyrone Willingham, according to sources.

Haywood was scheduled to arrive in Seattle late Wednesday evening.

Haywood, who also returned to his home in Houston last week following the death of his cousin, chose not to speak with the media following Tuesday's practice. A source confirmed Tuesday night that Haywood's personal issues this week were not connected to last week's family tragedy.

Haywood was not in attendance at Notre Dame's Wednesday afternoon practice.

Haywood has connections to the University of Washington. Huskies athletic director Scott Woodward, who took over the job in mid-September of this year, is the former director of external affairs in the Office of the Chancellor at Louisiana State University, where Haywood served on the Tigers' coaching staff from 1995-2002.

Washington president Mark A. Emmert served as chancellor at Louisiana State and hired Woodward to his post in Seattle.

Haywood called Woodward "a very good friend" when discussing Notre Dame's trip to Seattle four weeks ago to take on the Huskies.

There was speculation that Haywood was looking for an escape route from Notre Dame when Weis announced that he would be retaining play-calling responsibilities this weekend against Syracuse. Weis, who called plays his first three years at Notre Dame before handing those duties over to Haywood this season, reclaimed the play-calling last week for the Navy game when Haywood missed two days of practice to be with his family.

As it turns out, Weis granted Haywood permission to interview for the Washington head-coaching job despite the fact that there are two regular-season games remaining. Such discussions usually take place after the regular season and prior to a bowl game.

Haywood's name has been linked with several head coaching vacancies in recent years, including the Houston job a year ago, which eventually went to Kevin Sumlin. Haywood has coached for some of the biggest names in the college ranks, including Nick Saban, and Mack Brown.

Efforts to reach Woodward at the Washington athletic department Wednesday afternoon were unsuccessful. A phone message was left at 4 p.m. ET.



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