Steve Sarkisian was the head coach of the Washington Huskies from 2009 to 2013 before leaving for USC.

Now the head coach at Texas, Sarkisian’s Longhorns will take on Washington in the Alamo Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 29.

On Thursday, Sarkisian spoke at a media event for the bowl game alongside new Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer. Sarkisian reflected fondly on his time with the Huskies (via the Seattle Times):

“My time at Washington was one I’ll never forget — a special time, special place,” Sarkisian said Thursday, donning a burnt orange suit and tie. “That place was incredible. That fan base was incredible. I don’t take it lightly. You evolve as a coach, obviously, as you go through all of it.

“In the end, man, you hope you leave a place better than you found it. I think that we did that. Coach DeBoer has done a fantastic job with that program. But in the end, it’s like, do I think it was better (when I left) than it was when I got there? Yeah, I think so. And I’m appreciative of all the people there. They’re great people at the University of Washington, and much respect for everybody there.”

Sarkisian amassed a 34-29 overall record during his time at Washington, going 1-2 in bowl games, as he left before the Huskies’ victory in the Fight Hunger Bowl in 2013.