Six days after being suspended for shoving a player on the sidelines, Washington head coach Jimmy Lake has been fired.
Lake was let go on Sunday afternoon following his team's 35–30 home loss to Arizona State on Saturday night. Lake was not with the team for the Arizona State loss, as he was suspended without pay after a sideline incident between him and a player during Washington's game against Oregon.
During the team's 26—16 loss to Oregon, Lake tried to break up a skirmish between Washington and Oregon players and in doing so appeared to hit Huskies' redshirt freshman linebacker Ruperake Fuavai in the facemask. As Fuavai backed away from an opposing player, Lake pushed Fuavai toward the bench.
News also surfaced that the school was investigating an incident from 2019 in which Lake shoved a player into a locker, according to Mike Vorel of the Seattle Times.
"Making a head coaching change in any sport is difficult, recognizing that the decision impacts coaches, staff, student-athletes and their families," Jen Cohen, Washington's director of athletics said in a statement. "However, as the steward of UW Athletics, I must always act in the best interests of our student-athletes, our department and our university. No one wanted Jimmy to succeed more than I when I hired him in 2019, but ultimately, this change is necessary for a variety of reasons, both on the field and off."
"I am grateful for Jimmy's service to Washington, and we wish him the very best of luck moving forward."
Lake, 44, had been with Washington since 2014 when he joined the staff as the defensive backs coach under Chris Petersen. He was elevated to co-defensive coordinator in 2016, then held the position on his own beginning in 2018. The Huskies consistently ranked at or near the top of the Pac-12 in most defensive stats during his time. Lake was promoted to head coach following Petersen's decision to step down after the 2019 season.
Washington was ranked No. 20 in the preseason Associated Press poll and has been among the most underperforming teams this season. The loss to Arizona State dropped the Huskies to 4–6 on the year. The day after losing to Oregon the week prior, the team fired offensive coordinator John Donovan.
In two years at the helm, Lake guided the Huskies to a 7–6 record.
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