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Will Any UW Assistants Carry Over to the DeBoer Staff?

Nine Husky coaches could be out of work unless the new leader sees something he needs.
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Kalen DeBoer is the new face of Husky football. This 24-hour University of Washington coach now needs to add some arms and legs to the operation by building an effective staff around him — a chore in which his predecessor sometimes came up a little short.

An obvious question: Will DeBoer keep any members of Jimmy Lake's coaching staff or none at all?

Multiple former UW players have expressed their desire to have defensive-backs coach Will Harris and outside-linebackers coach Ikaika Malloe be retained for program continuity and recruiting purposes.

Harris deserves credit for continuing to develop NFL-bound defensive backs, something Lake really got rolling once he arrived in 2014 as an assistant for Chris Petersen. He's also one of the more fun and animated coaches, as the accompanying video shows.

Malloe, a former UW safety and linebacker, has been a Husky assistant coach and top recruiter since 2016 and he's been credited with signing top-level Polynesian players such as Zion Tupuola-Fetui.

When taking over a program, new coaches tend to view this situation differently. Some need all of their own hand-picked coaches as a matter of preference. Others deem a total housecleaning necessary to implement a new culture.

Yet others aren't too proud to pick up some holdover coaches, which helps lessen the player shock to losing everything familiar to them.   

When Don James took over in 1975, he kept three coaches from Jim Owens' staff — Jim Lambright, though demoting him from defensive coordinator to linebackers coach only; Ray Jackson, running-backs coach; and Bob Ryan, offensive-line and junior-varsity coach.

Tyrone Willingham came in for the 2005 season and kept only defensive-line coach Randy Hart from Keith Gilbertson's previous staff.

Once Willingham and his staff were fired after going 0-12 in 2008, Steve Sarkisian cleaned house and brought in all new coaches.

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Sarkisian departed for USC at the end of the 2013, leaving much of his staff to deal with the Fight Hunger Bowl without him. New coach Chris Petersen retained only tight-ends coach Jordan Paopao from Sark's staff. Paopao, however, didn't survive in 2019, when the program went from Petersen to Lake. 

When Lake and offensive coordinator John Donovan were dismissed in Week 9, that left just nine coaches to finish the season, including defensive coordinator Bob Gregory doubling up as the interim coach.

Unless Gregory is considered a must-have linebackers coach, he's probably done with the Huskies. His defense gave up, on the average, a generous 193.6 yards rushing and 336.9 total-offense yards per game. He came in with Petersen in 2014.

Offensive-line coach Scott Huff had a solid reputation until his veteran line underperformed in a big way in his fifth season in Seattle. He'll likely move on.

Keith Bhonapha, the UW running-backs coach who came in with Petersen, seemingly is expendable after the Huskies failed to establish a lead back this season, using five different guys.  

Junior Adams, the wide-receivers coach and acting offensive coordinator, likely moves on in favor of DeBoer coaches who have the passing game down to a science and accompany him north.

Lake hired defensive-line coach Rip Rowan, tight-ends coach Derham Cato and assistant defensive-backs coach Terrence Brown each with minimal full-time coaching experience. Rowan and Cato were quality coaches who were promoted in-house. Brown was a Husky graduate assistant who coached two years at Vanderbilt before returning to the UW.   


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