Q&A with Defensive Coordinator Ken Baer

Jan. 6, 2005

Coach Ken Baer has worked for Tyrone Willingham the past 10 years at Stanford and Notre Dame. Washington will mark the fourth Pac-10 school where Baer has worked as defensive coordinator. He was defensive coordinator at Notre Dame from 2002-04 and served as the Irish head coach during the 2004 Insight.com Bowl. Baer coached the linebackers at Stanford in 1995-98 and added the duties of defensive coordinator for the 1999-2001 campaigns. Baer started his collegiate coaching career at his Alma matter, Utah State, from 1977-85 and held similar roles at Idaho (1986). California (1987-91) and Arizona State (1992-94). Gohuskies.com caught up to Coach Baer and got his initial impressions on joining the Husky coaching staff.

Gohuskies.com: What is it like to work with Coach Willingham?
Ken Baer:
I have been with Tyrone for ten years so I probably know him better than anybody. He is a tremendous guy to work for. I have had some other options the last few months and years and I just choose to be with Tyrone just because I know what type of football coach he is. He is a tremendous individual, does things the right way, very competitive, and he is a great guy to work with.

Gohuskies.com: What are some of the first things that come to mind when you hear 'Washington Husky football?'
I think back to all the times I came to this stadium and never won a game. I look back to the first year I was in the Pac-10, which was 1987, and all the great Husky teams in the late 80's and early 90's and I have always felt that the UW was one of the better programs in the country, and I still do.

Gohuskies.com: How would you describe your coaching style?
I have been characterized as very demanding. I expect a lot of people. I expect a lot of myself. I have a very physical style of defensive, multiple threats, creating a lot of turnovers, getting after people, being aggressive. That is how I have been characterized and that is probably pretty fair.

Gohuskies.com: Have you had an opportunity to view any of the defensive players on tape? If so, what is your impressions?
I have not looked at our defensive yet. I have not looked at any of our defensive kids yet. I will by next week some time I just haven't had a chance to do so yet.

Gohuskies.com: Do you have any memories of the players from preparing for the 2004 Washington-Notre Dame game?
Washington has always had some physical players over the years and I thought that they did then. I know they lacked their quarterback because he got hurt and I know they lost their best receivers, both of them in our game. I remember that, but I have always thought Washington was a physical football team and I still do.

Gohuskies.com: What type of players are you trying to recruit?
The best players we can find. Good kids with good character. The best football players we can find.

Gohuskies.com: What region is your focus?
We are all going to head to California right now, that's where most of the numbers are right now. I know that we got some guys working in Washington. There are some guys that we have to go look at and see if we can finish this thing right.

Gohuskies.com: How do you feel about moving to Seattle and the West coast?
Well, it's just me. I have two boys who live in Arizona and an older son who lives in Utah. It's a little easier for me than some of the other coaches. It is just a matter of getting moved and selling the house, all those little things you have to worry about, and finding a place to live.

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