Photo courtesy of Washington athletics
It’s certainly a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business, but on-field performance may have not been the sole factor in Seattle.
After just two years at Washington as head coach, Jimmy Lake has been fired following a 35-30 loss to Arizona State.
Lake went 7-7 as the Huskies’ head coach, but a 4-6 start to 2021 lost a lot of people at Washington. That included a loss to FCS Montana to open the season. On top of that, video of him hitting a Washington player in the helmet has recently drawn controversy.
Examining the Job
Washington is the fifth Power 5 job to open up, and instantly becomes one of the best. Historically, Washington is a program that has competed for and won national championships.
Most recently, Chris Petersen took the Huskies to the College Football Playoff in 2016 on the way to a 12-2 campaign. Petersen finished with a 55-26 record at Washington, making him one of the best coaches in school history. Lake ultimately succeeded him.
Two years later and it is time for another coaching change.
For a school that has a rich history of winning and recruiting, the Washington job is one that is highly thought of in the coaching sphere. With the right head coach, the Huskies are a yearly contender in the Pac-12 and proved that under Petersen.
San Jose State HC Brent Brennan
The 2020 Mountain West Coach of the Year is just 20-36 as a head coach, but he has helped build the San Jose State program from the bottom up. In 2020, the Spartans went 7-1, and won the Mountain West title for the first time. So far in 2021, the Spartans are knocking on the doorsteps for another bowl bid.
More important than wins and losses, Brennan has deep connections to the West Coast in regards to recruiting. Brennan has been at San Jose State since 2005, and spent the first four years of his time there as recruiting coordinator. He has also coached at Oregon State, Arizona, and even spent a year with Washington in 1999.
Hiring a former Coach of the Year with deep ties to the West Coast could be critical. Brennan fits that mold.
Boise State HC Andy Avalos
The last time Washington hired a Boise State head coach, it worked out well. Could it again?
At 40 years old, Avalos is considered one of the best young coaches in the game. After serving on staff with Petersen and Bryan Harsin at Boise State, he made waves as a defensive coordinator and recruiter at Oregon.
In his first year at Boise, the Broncos have overcome a slow start and kept their long bowl streak alive.
While he still has a lot to prove, he fits the mold of a young coach with ties to the West Coast.
Oregon OC Joe Moorhead
Moorhead was fired from Mississippi State after going 14-12 as the head coach there. He also had experience at Fordham for multiple years as the head coach. When it all adds up, Moorhead is 52-25 as a head coach with experience in the ultra-tough SEC West.
After being fired, Moorhead landed at Oregon as the offensive coordinator. There, he has gotten his career back on track and is considered one of the top coordinators in the game.
Oregon is currently ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll with a huge early-season win over Ohio State. The Ducks have found a way to make things work with Anthony Brown at quarterback, thanks largely to Moorhead’s efforts.
After a disappointing tenure in Starkville, it might seem like a big jump for Moorhead to become the head man at Washington, but his offensive mind might be enough for the Huskies to pull the trigger.
Fresno State HC Kalen DeBoer
DeBoer has slowly risen through the coaching ranks in his career, and a big job might be on the horizon.
Currently, DeBoer has Fresno State right in the thick of things in the Mountain West. At 8-3, the Bulldogs are only behind San Diego State in the West division.
Even before Fresno State, DeBoer has made his mark as a head coach. From 2005 to 2009, DeBoer was the head coach of NAIA school, Sioux Falls. There, the Cougars went 67-3. DeBoer won the NAIA national championship in three of his five seasons as head coach.
It is clear that DeBoer can build a program from the ground up. Is he ready for a big job like Washington? Nobody knows, but he has certainly exceeded expectations in two years at Fresno State.