Jimmy Lake Fired as Washington Football Coach; Bob Gregory Named Interim HC

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 14, 2021

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

The Washington Huskies football team fired head coach Jimmy Lake on Sunday and named assistant coach Bob Gregory the interim head coach.

Brett McMurphy @Brett_McMurphy

Washington announces firing of Jimmy Lake <a href="https://t.co/zbhJa3ATLL">pic.twitter.com/zbhJa3ATLL</a>

According to The Athletic's Christian Caple and Bruce Feldman, Lake is owed a $9.9 million buyout, which will be paid out on a monthly basis through January 2025, though the buyout amount will drop should he earn additional compensation elsewhere during that time period.

Washington athletic director Jen Cohen later noted Lake's dismissal wasn't due to just "one factor," per ESPN's Kyle Bonagura:

"There wasn't one factor that led me to this decision. Wins and losses, no fan support—[those are some] of many factors that you're considering when you're making a decision this impactful. What I would just say is this was a very thoughtful decision that took me a lot of time and I had a lot of counsel in evaluating it. There's just not one incident or one factor that led me to this today."

Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel previously reported Lake was expected to be fired.

Lake was suspended for Saturday's Arizona State game after hitting and shoving linebacker Ruperake Fuavai during an in-game scuffle against Oregon last week.

"We have high expectations of conduct for our coaches, and we will not shy away from those expectations," athletics director Jen Cohen said Monday in a statement.

In the wake of the suspension, Lake was also accused of shoving wide receiver Quinten Pounds during a 2019 game against Arizona, per Mike Vorel of the Seattle Times.

Washington has a 4-6 record so far in 2021, a disappointing showing for a team that was ranked No. 20 in the preseason Associated Press poll.

The Huskies suffered a Week 1 loss to Montana, and the season continued to unravel as they went just 3-4 in Pac-12 play to sit fourth in the North division.

Lake led Washington to a 3-1 record during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but his tenure as head coach is now over after just two seasons.

He initially joined the program in 2014, working his way up from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator. He was elevated to head coach after Chris Petersen stepped down following the 2019 season.

The 44-year-old also has NFL experience, working as a defensive backs coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions earlier in his career.