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February 22, 2024

Jedd Fisch Leaves Arizona to Become New Head Coach at Washington

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Jan 15, 2024

Washington has hired Jedd Fisch as its new head football coach, just days after Kalen DeBoer left to take the head coaching job at Alabama. Fisch spent the last two seasons as head coach at Arizona, where he led the Wildcats to a 10-12 record.

Fisch Brings NFL and College Experience

The 47-year old Fisch has coached in both the NFL and college ranks over his career. He served as offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2021-2022 before taking the Arizona job. Fisch also has previous college OC experience at UCLA and Michigan.

Fisch inherits a Washington program that has gone 23-21 over the last four seasons. The Huskies are coming off a 4-8 record in 2022. Fisch will look to rebuild the Washington program as they transition to the Big Ten in 2024.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be the head football coach at the University of Washington,” Fisch said. “This program is loaded with rich history and tradition and I can’t wait to embrace the high expectations that come with this job.”

What’s Next for Arizona?

With Fisch’s departure, Arizona now begins its search for a new head coach. Some names that have emerged as potential candidates include:

  • Scott Frost: Former Nebraska head coach. Led the Huskers from 2018-2022.
  • Barry Odom: Former Missouri head coach. Spent the last three seasons as defensive coordinator at Arkansas.
  • Jeff Traylor: Current head coach at UTSA. Led the Roadrunners to a Conference USA title in 2021.

Arizona may look to bring in someone familiar with the Pac-12 and West Coast football. The Wildcats went 5-7 in 2021 under Fisch for their first winning record since 2017. Maintaining stability will be important as Arizona looks to build off the momentum Fisch had started to establish.

Assistant Coach Ryan Grubb Reportedly Heading to Alabama

In addition to Fisch’s departure, reports indicate that Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb is also leaving the program. Grubb is reportedly planning to join new Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer’s staff in Tuscaloosa.

Coach New Position Previous Position
Kalen DeBoer Alabama Head Coach Washington Head Coach
Jedd Fisch Washington Head Coach Arizona Head Coach
Ryan Grubb Alabama OC Washington OC

Grubb publicly stated last week that he would not become Washington’s next head coach. His ties with DeBoer point toward him reuniting with his former boss on the Crimson Tide staff.

Losing both its head coach and offensive coordinator means Washington will experience significant coaching turnover this offseason. Fisch will have to put together an entirely new staff as the Huskies transition into a new era.

What Conference Move Means for Washington

Washington’s coaching change comes on the heels of the news that the Huskies will be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024. The Big Ten’s move to expand to 16 teams and poach schools from the Pac-12 has sent shockwaves throughout college sports.

For Washington, the coaching hire took on greater significance given the impending conference realignment. Fisch will be tasked with ushering the Huskies into the Big Ten and helping the program navigate a much tougher conference schedule.

In the Big Ten, Washington will face traditional powers like Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State on an annual basis. Elevating recruiting and capitalizing on the school’s existing NIL infrastructure will be critical for Fisch and staff as they attempt to make the Huskies competitive in their new league.

The Big Ten promises to provide financial benefits for Washington, but it also represents a major step up in competition. The pressure will be on Fisch to ensure the Huskies avoid falling behind in their new conference home.

What They’re Saying

The college football world reacted swiftly to the news of Fisch’s hire at Washington. Here’s a sampling of responses:

“Washington is hiring Arizona’s Jedd Fisch as the Huskies’ new head coach, sources tell @SINow. Quick replacement for Kalen DeBoer, who left for Alabama earlier this week.” – Ross Dellenger, Sports Illustrated

“You want a lesson in cutting your losses quickly? Look no further than Washington. Lost Kalen DeBoer to Bama on Monday. Already hiring his replacement in Jedd Fisch by Saturday.” – Bruce Feldman, The Athletic

“Still find it hard to believe this education & this stadium had this much trouble hiring a good coach.” – Travis Haney, ESPN

The quick turnaround to hire Fisch earned praise in light of the lateness of the coaching cycle. However, there remains skepticism from some over whether Fisch is the right long-term solution.

His underwhelming 10-12 record at Arizona does not inspire confidence. Washington is betting on Fisch’s NFL credentials and offensive background being enough to spark a turnaround.

Outlook for Fisch hire: High Risk, High Reward

Ultimately, bringing in Fisch represents a roll of the dice for Washington. Fisch has shown offensive acumen during various stops as a coordinator, but does not arrive with a proven track record of success as a head coach.

While his hire has been met with some skepticism, Fisch also offers upside if he can maximize Washington’s existing talent and resources. The Huskies will move to the Big Ten with low expectations, offering Fisch time to build the program back up.

The pairing of Fisch and Washington qualifies as one of the more intriguing coach-program fits this offseason. How well Fisch’s NFL-flavored scheme and playcalling translate to the college game remains a pivotal question.

Washington decided the potential rewards with Fisch merit the risks. In a pacific northwest pressure cooker, Fisch faces a stiff challenge to return Washington to its past glory.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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