The University of Washington has fired Head Coach Jimmy Lake, Director of Athletics Jen Cohen announced Sunday Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel was the first to report the move.
"Making a head coaching change in any sport is difficult, recognizing that the decision impacts coaches, staff, student-athletes and their families," Cohen said in a press release. "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."
The university says it will honor his contract, meaning it will pay the remaining money on his contract. Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Bob Gregory will serve as the interim head coach for the rest of the season.
Lake led Washington to a 7-6 overall during his time as head coach. He was suspended without pay for the Huskies' most recent game against Arizona State, which they lost 35-30 at home in Seattle, after he was seen striking a Washington player in last week's loss to Oregon.
The physical interaction came after some back and forth between the two teams, and Lake said he was trying to separate his players.
"And that was our deal all week long was we gotta have poise. We knew that this was going to be a very heated matchup, and there was gonna be a lot of trash talking. When we stepped in there, we were glad that a penalty wasn't thrown on our guys to put us back even further on that kickoff return," Lake said following the Oregon game. "I separated them. I didn't strike him. I separated them."
Lake released a statement after the suspension came down from Washington administration last week.
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"I want to apologize to every member of our team, and in particular to Ruperake Fuavai, for my actions during our game on Saturday. I also want to apologize to President Cauce and Jen Cohen for putting the university in this position. I fully accept the decision that was made. Our team has a right to expect better than what I displayed on Saturday, and I'm committed to doing just that --being better so our program will reflect all that's good about being a Washington Husky."
Washington will begin a national search for its next head coach immediately.
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