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WASHINGTON

AD Barbara Hedges, who fired Jim Lambright earlier in the week, spent Thursday interviewing Huskies assistant coaches, whose contracts expire June 30. She also called Toledo AD Pete Liske, a former Washington administrator, to ask permission to interview coach Gary Pinkel, a former Huskies assistant.

Pinkel, 46, has led the Rockets to a 57-31-3 record the past eight years. Before that, he was a player for former Huskies coach Don James at Kent State, and coached on James' UW staffs for 12 years, the final seven as offensive coordinator.

JACKSON RETIRING: Keith Jackson, 70, the voice of college football, is retiring after calling the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., on Monday night. What will he miss the most? "I'm going to miss the hour before kickoff. It's a special time if the producers let you alone to enjoy it. The hour before kickoff is when the festival comes to be. There's no time more heroic than for the leader to lead his charges out of the tunnel and into the arena. It's just like the Pharaohs did with their men.

"There's the coming together of the crowd. Maybe friends haven't seen each other for 10 years, or maybe two weeks, or maybe yesterday. But they're all coming together for the festival."

Said Penn State coach Joe Paterno: "It's hard to believe you'll turn on a big game next year and he won't be doing it."

"Howard Cosell is Monday Night Football and Keith Jackson is college football," said Sean McManus, head of CBS Sports. "Nobody will ever be that dominant on a particular sport the way Keith has been on college football."

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