Washington Head Coach Jimmy Lake Allegedly Shoved Player in 2019

Adam WellsNovember 13, 2021

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Jimmy Lake of the Washington Huskies looks on after losing to Oregon Ducks 26-16 at Husky Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

After being suspended earlier this week for shoving and hitting current linebacker Ruperake Fuavai, Washington head football coach Jimmy Lake has been accused of doing something similar to another player two years ago. 

Per Mike Vorel of the Seattle Times, Lake is accused of shoving wide receiver Quinten Pounds at halftime of a 2019 game against Arizona. 

“Lake comes in on just a complete rampage pretty much, picks up Quinten Pounds and throws him into a locker,” one eyewitness told Vorel. “Those lockers there were wooden lockers, and it was violent. It really caught everyone by surprise. It was really unprompted. He just kind of did that and then went on a tangent about how the offense needs to start playing better.”   

There are some conflicting reports about the nature of the alleged altercation. One current player who was on the team at the time told Vorel he "was standing right next to Lake. Nothing malicious happened."

In a statement included in Vorel's report, Lake denied the allegations that "anything improper went on at halftime of the University of Arizona game in 2019."

Washington athletic director Jen Cohen, who also provided a statement, said "one individual mentioned an alleged incident involving Coach Lake during the 2019 football game at Arizona" during the school's investigation into the incident involving Fuavai. 

During the Huskies' Nov. 6 game against Oregon, Lake was seen on the sidelines hitting Fuavai on the helmet and shoving him in the back after the linebacker was involved in a minor skirmish with a Ducks player. 

On Monday, Cohen announced Lake was suspended for this week's game against Arizona State.

The statement did note Washington's athletic department, school president and members of the executive staff did "not believe that his actions were intentional or deliberate."

Lake's alleged shove on Pounds occurred when he was still an assistant on the Huskies staff under former head coach Chris Petersen. 

After Petersen stepped down following the 2019 season, Lake was hired as his successor.