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Kalen DeBoer Leaving Fresno State To Become Head Coach At University of Washington

Ross Everett
by in NCAAF on
  • Kalen DeBoer has been named head coach of the University of Washington replacing Jimmy Lake who was fired in November.
  • Washington finished the 2021 season with a record of 4-8.
  • DeBoer was in his second season at Fresno State where he leaves with a record of 12-6 including 9-3 in 2021.

Another college football vacancy has been filled as the University of Washington has named Kalen DeBoer as their new head coach. DeBoer comes to UW from Fresno State where he compiled a 12-6 record in two seasons including a 9-3 mark this year. DeBoer informed his Fresno State players of his move to Washington in a team meeting earlier today. Lee Marks will serve as the interim coach for Fresno State.

DeBoer began his head coaching career at Division II University of Sioux Falls, a small liberal arts collage with approximately 1,650 students in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. During his five tenure at the University of Sioux Falls, DeBoer led the Cougars to three NAIA Championships and a record of 67-3. He left Sioux Falls in 2009 and served in a variety of assistant coaching positions before he was hired at Fresno State before the 2020 season. DeBoer thinks that his coaching philosophy is a perfect fit for the University of Washington:

“My family and I are so grateful for the opportunity to lead such a storied program and be part of this prestigious institution. 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.”

Washington is hoping that DeBoer can make the program a consistent winner. The Huskies have struggled to do that since the start of the 21st Century. They enjoyed moderate success under Steve Sarkisian (2009-2013) and more success under former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen (2014-2019). Unfortunately, the tenures of Keith Gilbertson (2003-2004), Tyrone Willingham (2005-2008) and Jimmy Lake were unmitigated disasters. The low point came at the end of Willingham’s run when the Huskies went 0-12 in 2008.

Washington athletic director Jennifer Cohen is excited to have a coach with Kalen’s credentials take over the football program:

“I could not be more excited to welcome Kalen and his wonderful family to the University of Washington. 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.”

University of Washington President, Ana Mari Cauce, had these comments about the new head coach:

“I am excited to begin the next era of Husky Football by welcoming Kalen DeBoer to the UW family. 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.”

There should be renewed excitement around the Pac-12 football season next year. The biggest coaching move of the year will see former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley accepting the vacancy at traditional powerhouse USC. USC and Washington might be a year or two away from contending with Oregon and Utah for the top rung of the Pac-12 standings but both schools now appear to be heading in the right direction.

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