The Jimmy Lake era is over.
It has only just started.
But – after 13 games, seven wins, six losses, a disastrous offensive coordinator hiring, a “RUN THE DAMN BALL” hat, an arguably illegitimate division title, a season-ending COVID outbreak, a secondary incident involving a one-game suspension and an unfortunate comment about the lack of “academic prowess” from rival Oregon – Lake was fired Sunday afternoon.
What’s next for Washington?
“Our search for a new football coach begins today, and although I cannot set a timeline on the process, we will move forward (as) quickly and completely as possible,” said the UW athletic director. , Jen Cohen, at a virtual press conference Sunday night. . “We’re very open about who we’re looking for our next head coach, and I’m confident we’ll have a strong and diverse candidate pool. I will also be relying on a small group of advisers as we embark on this journey. “
One of those advisers, it seems, will be Chris Petersen – who led the Huskies to a pair of Pac-12 titles and a college football playoff appearance from 2014 to 2019, before recommending Lake as his chosen successor.
But, as far as Petersen is concerned, Cohen offered a clarifier.
“Coach Petersen didn’t leave this job to Jimmy Lake. I gave the job to Jimmy Lake, ”she said, also adding that“ her hire is on me, and I own her ”.
“It was my decision, and obviously he supported him. Coach Petersen… we’re really lucky. We’ve had him very involved in the sports department for the last couple of years since he stepped down. gives a lot of advice to me and to our other coaches in our department. He is part of my inner circle of advisers that I rely on for advice on a number of things. I expect to get advice from him during this research process. “
When asked if this search process could possibly bring Cohen back to Petersen, she declined to discuss possible candidates. She also declined to disclose the identity of her “small group of advisers” but said “I rely on people who have a strong football background and a solid background in this space.”
Details were scarce on Sunday night.
And for Lake’s assistant coaching staff, the future is just as bleak.
“I firmly believe that the new head coach has complete autonomy to hire his staff,” said Cohen, when asked if any current Husky assistants could be retained by the new regime. “That being said, if there are people on our staff that they are interested in, that would be great.”
After Lake’s hiring notably bypassed a nationwide search, Cohen confirmed that she would be hiring a search firm as well – though “I’m still debating the extent of a firm’s involvement. research. I will have a research firm involved, but the extent of their role is yet to be determined. “
So is the identity of UW’s next head coach. But, when asked if there would be financial limitations on hiring, Cohen simply said, “We have the resources to get the best coach for Washington.”
It could be former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, or Brigham Young’s Kalani Sitake, or Fresno State’s Kalen DeBoer. It could be Nevada’s Jay Norvell, or former Texas coach Tom Herman, or Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
Damn, it could be Petersen.
Or someone list writers and bulletin board speculators never even considered.
At the end of an era, there are more theoretical candidates than legitimate clues.
“I’m just going to say this: this is a special place,” Cohen said. “We have all the resources we need to be a championship program. “
What they need next is a championship coach.