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Rating Lake's Coaching Staff, Who Stays and Who Goes

We see substantial turnover coming, whether or not the Husky head coach hangs in there.

LSU and coach Ed Orgeron agreed to part ways after the season. USC said good bye to Clay Helton after just two games. Nick Rolovich hangs in the balance at midseason at Washington State over his vaccine choice. 

College football, for whatever reason, waits for no one. 

Which brings us to the tenuous University of Washington football situation growing more complicated each week. Four defeats in six games. A losing record likely coming for the first time in a dozen years, since Steve Sarkisian's 5-7 debut. Small crowds turning smaller.

Face it, Jimmy Lake is in trouble. 

Now if his firing in 2021 is a far too radical move for the UW administration to consider, then a good portion of Lake's coaching staff would appear to be on extremely shaky ground.

The Huskies collectively aren't very well coached, don't play with much emotion and aren't always used properly.

For instance, Kamari Pleasant looks like Jacque Robinson with the football in his hands against UCLA and averages nearly 9 yards a carry, and he draws a paltry 9 carries? Shouldn't he at least have been the tailback when Sean McGrew got dropped for 3- and 1-yard losses at the goal line?

This is how it works: Lake's coaching staff is going to be gutted and summarily replaced. It's an automatic. This past year, Mike Hopkins had to do the same thing in Husky basketball to save his job.

Moments after the 24-17 loss to UCLA, Lake was asked directly whether he had the right staff in place? 

"Yes," he replied curtly, offering no other defense.

At this point, with things crumbling all around him, Lake might be the only one who feels that way. This has become a serious situation for future coaching employment in Montlake. 

We take a look at his coaches and their projected chances of UW survival. We see 50-50 turnover coming if the head coach hangs in there. Of course, if the school determines Lake can't cut it, everyone goes out the door after the Apple Cup. 

John Donovan, offensive coordinator

This didn't work. It was never going to work. This lone hire has been disastrous for Lake. Let's return to those aforementioned McGrew carries: It was first-and-goal at the UCLA 2 and Donovan calls consecutive plays that produce negative yards, resulting in a field goal. Aggravating, he can't settle on a tailback so he plays four. Dismiss

Bob Gregory, defensive coordinator

This hire was suspect from the beginning. Gregory had to be talked into taking the job when Pete Kwiatkowski left for Texas. He was satisfied with being the linebackers coach. His defense has been extremely conservative, matching his personality, with few people flying around. Dismiss

Will Harris, defensive backs

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A true sign of a good staff is how many prospective college head coaches do you see? Harris might be the only one among these 10 assistants who fits that mold. His defensive backs appear to be well coached. He presents himself in an upbeat manner. He takes charge on the practice field. Retain

Ikaika Malloe, outside linebackers

This former Husky linebacker and safety understands what the program should be and is a fairly decent recruiter. He's capable of coaching all over the defense. If the UW was going to stopgap the role, maybe it should have made Malloe defensive coordinator just for the energy boost. Retain 

Scott Huff, offensive line

This might be the most surprising career decision involving the assistants. His reputation has been sullied. His line has been the biggest disappointment for this team. For some reason, he allowed his guys to become huge, not mobile at all and subsequently ineffective. The line coach should be one of your team's best hires with no letdowns. Dismiss

Junior Adams, wide receivers

By all accounts, his Husky receivers have made progress and made tough catches. They just haven't been able to stay healthy. He deserves credit for patching this position area together. His four top guys each have touchdown catches. Retain

Keith Bonapha, running backs

He has to be admired for talking his way into having eight running backs on scholarship to work with, including three from Texas. Yes, he's a good recruiter, maybe better at that than teaching the position. But that's enough for survival. Retain

Derham Cato

At a college football program this size, you wouldn't think the Huskies would hire analysts or consultants as assistants, rather guys with proven track records. Make those promotions at other schools. He's borderline at best. But the tight ends appear to be sufficiently coached. Retain

Rip Rowan, defensive line

Another promoted analyst that runs counter to the motivations of a serious program, Rowan hasn't been able to get his guys to respond and they've been trampled at times. Unlike Husky defenses of the past, he doesn't have a go-to defender up front. He's going to take the fall for 343 rushing yards by Michigan, 242 by Oregon State and 237 by UCLA.  Dismiss

Terrence Brown, defensive backs

Maybe there's a good explanation for it, but why a team needs a second secondary coach seems needless. Get an analyst to help out. These Huskies would be better served with another O-line or D-line coach. No offense to Brown, but it's more the surplus job rather than his performance. Dismiss

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