Cal offensive line coach Jim Michalczik is leaving Berkeley to become the new offensive coordinator at Washington.

Michalczik agreed to make the move over the weekend but will continue with the Bears' staff through the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 27.

"It was an incredibly tough decision," Michalczik said Sunday night. "Leaving the Bay Area, leaving these kids, leaving coach (Jeff) Tedford, who gave me an opportunity here. This is a pretty good opportunity. It was literally too good to turn down."

Michalczik has coached alongside Tedford since the two were assistants at Oregon in 1999. He has also been an assistant head coach during his seven years at Cal and was the team's offensive coordinator in 2007.

Michalczik will join the staff of new Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, who replaced Tyrone Willingham last week.

"I'm excited in one aspect but a little sad on the other," Michalczik said. "I'm leaving a great situation, being on Jeff's staff. And these players have been something special."

The move makes sense for Michalczik, who has aspirations to be a head coach someday. Being a coordinator essentially makes him one step away from running a show himself. Michalczik also hails from Port Angeles, Wash., a couple hours northwest of Seattle. He is a graduate of rival Washington State.

"Professionally, it was an offer I couldn't turn down," he said. "There's no definite path in this profession, but the perception is (this) is the path to take."


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Michalczik will spend the next couple of weeks going back and forth from Berkeley to Seattle. He said he will be on hand when the Bears return to practice Thursday.

Michalczik has had seven offensive linemen earn All-Pac-10 first team honors during his tenure at Cal, including center Alex Mack in each of the past three seasons. He's produced a handful of NFL players, and Mack could be a first-round draft pick next April.

Michalczik also will double as the Huskies' offensive line coach.

"I learned a ton from Jeff," Michalczik said. "How to do things the right way, with integrity and honor. I'm damn grateful for the opportunity to come here and be a part of something special."

Contact Jonathan Okanes at jokanes@bayareanewsgroup.com.