Earlier this afternoon, there was big news coming out of Montlake, just one day after the Washington Football program suffered another bitter defeat to the rival Oregon Ducks.
It was announced by the University of Washington that Washington offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach John Donovan has been removed from his positions effective immediately.
Donovan, coached four seasons on the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive staff, and came to Seattle with 19 years of collegiate coaching experience, including three years as offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt and two more at Penn State.
At the time of his hire, Washington head coach Jimmy Lake said,
“Coach Donovan has a great deal of experience at both the college and NFL levels, learning from a lot of great offensive minds about coaching the kind of aggressive, pro-style offense we want to play here at Washington,” Lake said. “From my own experience, I know how much a coach can learn and grow by spending significant time in the NFL. I’m excited for him to get to Seattle and get started.”
When Lake made this hire back in January of 2020, many saw his addition as a curious one, boasting only average to subpar success during his time as an actual offensive coordinator in previous stints.
During his time at Washington, Donovan’s offenses have struggled immensely, and the development of starting quarterback Dylan Morris has also been a subject of discussion as well.
Washington currently ranks as one of the worst teams in the Pac-12 Conference in almost every statistical category which includes, points per game and yardage per game.
They rank tenth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 22 points per game), tenth in total offense at 332.1 yards per game, tenth in yards per pass attempt at 6.8, tenth in completion percentage at 59.9%, eleventh in rushing at 115.33, and eleventh in yards per carry at 3.48.
When Donovan was hired, he came to Montlake with optimism and the hopes of transforming an offense that was in desperate need of an overhaul, when former Washington offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan was replaced.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of such a great university, with unbelievable football tradition, like the University of Washington,” Donovan said. “Thanks to Coach Lake and everyone involved for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to getting started. Go Dawgs!”
In the end, this outcome was clearly inevitable and it was just a matter of when. The final straw came last night when the Huskies were in prime position to pull off a monumental upset over its hated rival from the south. The offense was gifted several opportunities to put the Ducks on the ropes but they were only able to gain 166 yards of total offense.
Now, Washington will turn to wide receivers coach Junior Adams to take over the playcalling duties in the interim as offensive coordinator for the rest of the season, in hopes of providing any type of spark! Offensive quality control analyst, Payton McCollum, will be promoted to quarterbacks coach.
Adams joined the UW staff in January of 2019 as wide receivers coach, having spent the two prior seasons as offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Western Kentucky. McCollum joined the UW staff in 2020, having worked at North Carolina Central, North Carolina, the Detroit Lions, and Campbell.
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