Washington Fires Head Coach Jimmy Lake Following Suspension

Former Washington head football coach Jimmy Lake spoke for the first time — via Twitter — since the university’s decision to fire him on Sunday. The former Huskies head coach was suspended following the team’s home loss to Arizona State last week where he physically engaged with one of his players during the previous week’s contest against Oregon.

“Purple and Gold run through my veins,” Lake wrote in a tweet. “Proud to have been a Husky. Go Dawgs!’

lakeThis was Lake’s second season as head coach at Washington, though he had been on the Huskies coaching staff since 2014. He took over after former head coach Chris Petersen stepped down in 2019. In Lake’s absence, assistant coach Bob Gregory will assume interim head coaching duties for the remainder of the season.

“Making a head coaching change in any sport is difficult, recognizing that the decision impacts coaches, staff, student-athletes and their families,” Washington athletic director Jen Cohen released in a statement. “However, as the steward of UW Athletics, I must always act in the best interests of our student-athletes, our department, and our university. No one wanted Jimmy to succeed more than I when I hired him in 2019, but ultimately, this change is necessary for a variety of reasons, both on the field and off. I am grateful for Jimmy’s service to Washington, and we wish him the very best of luck moving forward.”

Lake’s suspension from the Huskies’ Nov. 13 game against Arizona State stemmed from Washington’s Nov. 6 game against Oregon. During the first quarter against the Ducks, Lake struck Husky linebacker Ruperake Fuavai on the sidelines.

Over the weekend, upon receiving the news, Cohen released the following statement:

“We are aware of an interaction between Head Coach Jimmy Lake and a student-athlete during the first half of Saturday’s game. We have high expectations of the conduct of our coaches and we are working to gather more information on this matter.”

Lake was asked about the incident after the game and maintained that he did not strike Fuavai, according to the Seattle Times’ Percy Allen.

“I separated them,” Lake said at the time.

The university did not fire Lake for cause, allowing the former head coach to receive the remaining $9.9 million of his contract via a buyout. He will be paid in monthly installments over the next three years but could be reduced by any new compensation, according to a report from Christian Caple of The Athletic.

The Huskies currently sport a record of 4-6.