Peter Sirmon joins the University of Washington coaching staff after his stint as the linebackers coach at the University of Tennessee.
Sirmon, 35, spent last season at Tennessee as a linebacker coach for the defensive staff. Sirmon coached freshman linebacker, A.J. Johnson, who was the only true freshman honored by the Freshman All-America organization at linebacker. Johnson led all freshmen in tackles in the SEC.
In his first season with the Vols he coached the UT’s safeties. That proved to be an excellent match for the Vols, with Janzen Jackson earning a second-team All-SEC nod and Brent Brewer making great strides in his first season back from the professional baseball ranks.
Sirmon says his recent playing experience definitely contributes to his coaching success.
“I think anytime you have walked in the same shoes as the players, there’s a level of communication and understanding. You’re asking them to do things you know can be done and if things are difficult, you understand the problems they’re having. It’s easier to relate to them.”
Sirmon brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Vols. The seven-year NFL veteran spent 2009 as a graduate assistant at Oregon, his alma mater.
Oregon won the Pacific-10 Conference title that year and played in the Rose Bowl after compiling a 10-2 regular season mark. Sirmon’s coaching input helped the Ducks lead the Pacific-10 Conference in sacks that season with nearly three per game.
Prior to a stint with the Ducks, Sirmon served as coach for the linebackers coach at Central Washington. It was his first coaching position since retiring from the NFL.
The Wildcats compiled a 10-1 regular season record that year and advanced to the NCAA Division II football playoffs.
Sirmon’s playing days saw the Walla Walla, Wash., native selected by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He spent his entire seven-year career playing linebacker in Nashville. Sirmon finished his NFL career with 349 tackles to go along with five sacks and four interceptions.
An All-Pac-10 performer, Sirmon was a four-year starter and letter-winner at Oregon from 1996-99. During his time in Eugene, Sirmon was a part of 30 Ducks wins.
Sirmon comes to the UW along with Justin Wilcox, who was also on the Tennessee staff as the defensive coordinator. Sirmon and Wilcox were teammates during their playing days at Oregon.
“Justin and I have a really strong relationship,” Sirmon says. “I think we can both talk frankly with each other and understand that it’s work.”
Sirmon and his wife, Lindsay, have four children: Jackson, 11; Presley, 9; Savanna, 8; and Sadie, 5.
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