BREAKING: Huskies Hire Kalen DeBoer As Head Coach

For the past few weeks, the University of Washington administration has been in pursuit of the right hire to take over its football program.

Earlier this morning, according to several sources, Washington Athletic Director Jen Cohen finalized a deal to make Fresno State head coach Kalen DeBoer the next head coach at Washington.

Cohen jumped on a private jet earlier this morning headed to Fresno, California to put the finishing touches on the new deal for DeBoer.

“I could not be more excited to welcome Kalen and his wonderful family to the University of Washington,” said Cohen. “We set out to find the best fit for Husky football and we found an individual that exemplifies everything this program represents. Kalen is a winner and champion, plain and simple. He has succeeded at every stop because he does it the right way and is committed to a culture of excellence for Husky football student-athletes. His strong value alignment with our department, university and community will make all of Husky Nation proud.”

“My family and I are so grateful for the opportunity to lead such a storied program and be part of this prestigious institution,” said DeBoer. “The tough, hard-nosed tradition of Washington football speaks for itself, and it was obvious throughout this process that UW is committed to competing at the highest level. This is a perfect fit for me and I would like to thank Jen Cohen and President Cauce for their trust. We could not be more excited to get to Seattle and get to work.”

“I am excited to begin the next era of Husky Football by welcoming Kalen DeBoer to the UW family,” said University of Washington President, Ana Mari Cauce. “Coach DeBoer is committed to supporting our students on and off the field, and will help them be successful both in football and in their lives and careers after graduation. I share our community’s enthusiasm about the future of Husky Football under Coach DeBoer’s leadership.”

After the Oregon game this past season, Cohen put former Washington head coach Jimmy Lake on a one-game suspension after making physical contact with his own player on the sidelines.

Later that week, Cohen bought out Lake’s contract and parted ways with him.  At the time she said:

“I recognize that terminating a coach after 13 games is unusual, and quite frankly, it certainly goes against my beliefs as an administrator.  However, when I know something is not working or something just isn’t right, I do have an obligation to act.  I hired Coach Lake in 2019 full of confidence and had high expectations and did everything that I could to help him be successful. I’m really disappointed and I’m sad to be here today in his second season. As a director of athletics, his hire is on me, and I own it,” Cohen said.

In DeBoer, the Huskies are getting something that they have been wanting for a long time, which is an innovative and successful offense.

During this past season, DeBoer helped former Husky quarterback Jake Haener become one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.

Fresno State’s offense ranks 5th nationally in total offense at 463.6 yards per game.  It also ranks 15th in pass efficiency rating at 156.64. It ranks 9th nationally in passing offense at 330.1 yards per game and 10th in passing touchdowns at 34.  It ranks 25th in red zone touchdown percentage at around 69%. It ranks 17th in completion percentage at around 67%. It ranks 15th in pass efficiency rating at 156.64.  Lastly, it ranks 16th in first downs per game at 24.2.

Before heading to Fresno State, DeBoer served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Indiana Hoosiers.  In just his one season there, he transformed their offense, which led to eight wins and one of their best seasons in Indiana history.

Earlier in his life, DeBoer graduated from the University of Sioux Falls in 1995 and took over at Washington High School in South Dakota. Once two seasons were in the books, he started his college coaching career as a wide receiver coach and had two gigs as a head coach. After taking over as head coach, DeBoer led Sioux Falls to three NAIA championships from 2005-2009.  He rose quickly from FCS to FBS as an offensive coordinator at Southern Illinois and Eastern Michigan.

Over his seven seasons as a head football coach, DeBoer has compiled a 79-9 (.898) record, and has over 25 years in coaching experience.

On the surface, this seems like a solid hire for the Huskies.  DeBoer has been a winner at every stop he has been at, but just like anything else, only time will tell.

A big piece to his success will be his ability to put a quality coaching staff together, that can coach and recruit at a Power 5 level.

DeBoer already has west coach recruiting ties, which is a huge plus, and has been known to recruit central California as part of his recruiting strategy.

Having an offensive guru and innovator should help immediately transform the Husky offense into something long desired on Montlake.  DeBoer being a quarterbacks coach too should help turn Sam Huard into one of the top quarterbacks in the conference in due time.

With some serious names being floated around during the search like Bob Stoops, Dave Aranda, Matt Campbell, Bryan Harsin, Tom Herman, Justin Wilcox, etc. there will be some fans and boo birds out there looking for the big name splash hire.

When breaking it down and analyzing the hire, DeBoer definitely checks off a lot of the boxes that this Husky Football program desperately needs to resurrect itself and return to national relevance again.

 

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