Gilbertson heads Huskies#039; program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 18, 2003

SEATTLE -- Washington offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson was appointed Tuesday to supervise the Huskies' football program while coach Rick Neuheisel's termination process is completed.

The announcement was made by athletic director Barbara Hedges, who said the 55-year-old Gilbertson ''will be responsible for supervising the staff and overseeing daily operations of the football program'' while Neuheisel is suspended.

Gilbertson was the head coach at California from 1992-95 and Idaho from 1986-88. He has been Washington's offensive coordinator since 2000 and part of Neuheisel's staff since 1999. He was an assistant coach with the Seattle Seahawks.

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Hedges announced last week that Neuheisel will be fired for violating NCAA rules against gambling for his participation in NCAA basketball tournament pools in 2002 and 2003.

She also said Neuheisel wasn't forthcoming with NCAA investigators when initially questioned.

Coaches aren't allowed to gamble on college sports under NCAA rules.

Neuheisel has challenged his firing, and has until June 26 to respond to his letter of termination. Hedges said she will fill the vacated head coaching position at ''the resolution of the termination process.''

''As we proceed through this process, it is necessary to have a member of the current staff coordinate the efforts of the football department and Keith has agreed to serve in that capacity,'' Hedges said in a statement.

The start of the Huskies' fall camp is just over one month away, and Washington opens its season Aug. 30 at defending national champion Ohio State.

Gilbertson didn't immediately return telephone messages seeking comment. The university said he would be available later Tuesday.

Neuheisel maintains he didn't realize he was breaking NCAA rules by gambling in a pool with friends and neighbors. He has defended himself with a department memo that says off-campus pools are acceptable.

Neuheisel reportedly wagered a combined $6,400 over the two-year span and reportedly won about $12,000.

Since last week's news conference, it was disclosed that Gilbertson participated in a $3 NCAA basketball tournament pool inside the football office in 1999. Hedges has said it wouldn't affect his candidacy as a potential interim coach.