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Sarkisian takes over one of college football’s crown jewel programs, a five-time AP national champion with a lengthy history of national prominence. He also inherits a roster stocked with solid talent by Kiffin and Orgeron, yet still laboring under the last of NCAA sanctions stemming from violations during Carroll’s era.

Next season is USC’s last year of scholarship limitations, keeping the Trojans with just 75 scholarship players on their roster _ 10 fewer than other schools.

Sarkisian was on Carroll’s staff as the quarterbacks coach for USC’s national title in 2003. He left for one season with the Oakland Raiders while the Trojans won another title in 2004, but returned for the next four seasons at USC before Washington called.

Sarkisian played a major role in the Trojans’ development of a string of standout quarterbacks, coaching Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart along with Mark Sanchez, John David Booty and Matt Cassel.

Sarkisian is a Torrance native and a former BYU quarterback who briefly played baseball at USC before three separate stints as an assistant coach. Although he had moderate success at Washington, his ties to his home state run deep: He has been an impressive recruiter in California, luring dozens of talented players to Seattle from high schools within a short drive of USC’s campus.

Two days after the Huskies beat Washington State 27-17 in the Apple Cup to finish 8-4, Sarkisian and Washington athletic director Scott Woodward addressed the Huskies at a team meeting on Monday.

“It was a business decision,” said Washington quarterback Keith Price, a Compton, Calif., native. “I’m not mad at him. His family is first. It would have been nice to get another game with him _ my last game. But things happen. We have to move on. Whoever our coach is going to be for the bowl game, we’re going to play hard. There’s still a lot to accomplish this season.”

Sarkisian was in the middle of a contract that runs through 2015 and paid him about $2.25 million per year before jumping to $2.85 million in the final season.

Denver Broncos assistant coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the job at his alma mater, and USC was thought to be interested in Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Boise State’s Chris Petersen. Instead, Haden went with another contributor to USC’s glorious recent past.

USC is 43-21 since 2009, Carroll’s last season, and the last season before the NCAA sanctioned the program. When Carroll skipped to the NFL, Kiffin was hired away from Tennessee by former athletic director Mike Garrett in 2010.

Sarkisian arrived in Seattle planning to help Washington return to the elite of the Pac-12. The Huskies at least got back to respectability, but their attempts at finally joining the upper echelon of the conference this season were turned back in losses to Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State.

Sarkisian also never defeated the Ducks in his tenure, an issue that stuck with Washington fans tired of getting beaten up by their neighbors to the south. Sarkisian is the first Washington coach to voluntarily leave for another position since Darrell Royal in 1956 when he departed for Texas. Royal was at Washington for one season.


AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo and AP Sports Writer Tim Booth contributed to this report.