Gilbertson Withdraws from Consideration with NFL's Saints

Feb. 15, 2001

Seattle - Washington offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson has withdrawn from consideration for any coaching opportunities with the New Orleans Saints. Gilbertson visited with the Saints coaching staff and administration earlier this week.

'I really appreciate the opportunity that they presented to come down and discuss some things,' Gilbertson said. 'They are a quality organization with some really fine people and they have got that thing going down there. But for me, Washington is the place I want to be. I really love it here and have a great passion about this program.

'I get very excited thinking about next year and the challenges that this team presents,' he says. 'I really enjoy working with Rick (Neuheisel) and the staff here. The opportunity to return to the NFL is inviting, but my family and I really enjoy it here. We love being a part of the University of Washington. Growing up here, this is a very, very special place to me.'

The 2001 season will be Gilbertson's seventh year at Washington. He was the offensive coordinate and tight ends coach for the Huskies' 11-1 Rose Bowl Championship team last season that finished third in the national college football polls. Gilbertson's first coaching stint at Washington came in 1976 as a graduate assistant for Don James. He returned in 1989 and worked as the offensive line coach for two seasons. In 1991, when Washington went 12-0 and won the national championship, he was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Following a three-year stint as an assistant coach with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks from 1996-98, Gilbertson joined Neuheisel's staff in 1999 as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach.

Gilbertson has served as a head coach at Idaho (1986-88) and California (1992-95). He is a native of Snohomish and graduated from Central Washington in 1971.

'I've said it before and I'll say it again,' said Husky coach Rick Neuheisel, who is vacationing in Hawaii. 'Gilby is a big part of Husky football and I was elated when he told me he was still going to be a Dawg. He has been invaluable to me in my first two seasons at Washington. He is a tremendous coach and mentor for our players. The fact he receives inquiries from NFL teams shows you how highly he is respected in this profession.'

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