New Normal: UW Coaches, Players Deal With Being House-Bound

Dan Raley

Jimmy Lake watches Harry Potter movies with his family at night. He'd never seen one of the Potter films before. The new Washington football coach finds himself stuck at home like everyone else, with more free time than usual because of the novel coronavirus lockdown.

Huskies basketball coach Mike Hopkins peers into a video coming from what looks like a home office, sporting a casual look the public never sees. Behind the day-old growth, he implores people to have hope and stay safe in the face of the growing pandemic.

Shooting guard Eric Stevenson, a transfer from Wichita State to the UW and relegated to his family home in Lacey, Washington, bemoans on Twitter how he needs to get out, find a gym and work on his game. 

Jaxson Kirkland, Husky offensive tackle, doesn't need an outside  facility. In Portland, Oregon, the junior diligently lifts at home, which is equipped with a full set of weights, intent on transforming his body. Often, he and his father Dean, a former Huskies offensive guard and a team co-captain, get in a workout together.

Such is the new normal for UW coaches and their athletes, forced to cope with the national edict to stay home and avoid the viral outbreak now infecting and killing thousands globally. These are scenes playing out daily across America. 

"I've been taking more walks than usual," Lake said. "I've been getting outside and getting some fresh air."

Lake meets with his coaching staff through teleconferencing, has called nearly every player on his roster and he's personally contacted more recruits than usual. By 5:30 p.m., he turns his attention to his family members.

While holed up in his suburban Seattle home, Hopkins still has managed to pull recent player commitments out of a pair of guards in Stevenson and JC transfer Nate Pryor from Northern Idaho. 

Always a beacon of positive messages, the Husky basketball coach took to video posted on Twitter to relay his latest upbeat thoughts this week.

"Collectively, we can overcome the impact of COVID-19," he said, stubble and all. "We've got this Seattle."