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Washington fires Jimmy Lake: What’s next as Huskies program dismisses coach in second season

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Washington fired coach Jimmy Lake on Sunday, six days after the school suspended him for Saturday’s game against Arizona State. Lake was 7-6 in two seasons leading the program after serving on Chris Petersen’s staff in Seattle since 2014. Washington will honor the terms of Lake’s contract, and he’ll be owed roughly $9.9 million. Assistant coach Bob Gregory will serve as the interim head coach 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,” athletic director Jennifer Cohen said in a release. “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 stemmed from an altercation caught by television cameras with Huskies linebacker Ruperake Fuavai in the Nov. 6 loss to Oregon. The incident with Fauvai may not have been the only inappropriate run-in with one of his players. The Seattle Times reported Saturday that Lake threw ex-Washington wide receiver Quinten Pounds into a locker at halftime while trailing Arizona in 2019. Lake denied the incident, which is alleged to have occurred while he was still serving as assistant on Petersen’s staff two months before he was promoted to the program’s coach position following Petersen’s retirement

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“I absolutely deny anything improper went on at halftime of the University of Arizona game in 2019,” Lake told the Times. “There were numerous witnesses in the game — from equipment room, to football staff, to strength and conditioning coaches — and no one came to me with concerns after halftime, after the game, never.”

Despite the off-the-field controversies, Lake’s was off to a promising start on the field. Washington went 3-1 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, his first at the helm. The Huskies won the Pac-12 North but were unable to participate in the Pac-12 Championship Game due to COVID-19 protocols. Oregon replaced Washington as the representative out of the Pac-12 North and defeated USC for the conference title. 

What’s next for Washington?

It’s unlikely Washington will follow the same path post-Petersen and hire from within after all that’s gone on. Plus, there are plenty of directions to consider.  The program could go one state over and try to lure Andy Avalos, who’s in his first season as coach at Boise State. The former Oregon defensive coordinator has ties all over the Pacific Northwest, which is a huge factor considering Washington has to recruit against the Ducks on a consistent basis.

Ex-Texas Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie might be another option. The air raid specialist has taken over at Texas Tech for the remainder of the season and has been considered one of the up-and-coming stars of the industry for several years. Speaking of Air Raid coaches, USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell — who also played quarterback at Texas Tech — could be another attractive option. Like Cumbie, he is going to be looking for work after the Trojans fired Clay Helton, and can bring a creative offense and Los Angeles recruiting ties to the Pac-12 North. 

Bottom line, though, is that this will be a huge hire for Cohen. The Huskies should be one of the powers of the West Coast and need to get this right in order to keep pace with division rival Oregon and the rest of the Pac-12. 

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With Caitlin Clark running the show, Iowa's range is limitless

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The laws of shooting don’t apply to Iowa star Caitlin Clark, who presents a unique challenge for defending champion South Carolina.



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NFL Analyst Comments On A Confusing Trey Lance Narrative

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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

 

The quarterback controversy continues for the San Francisco 49ers.

Last offseason, it was a battle between incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, who was coming off his rookie season.

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Now, with new starter Brock Purdy recovering from surgery on a torn UCL in his throwing elbow, there are again calls from some to start Lance.

Lance certainly has potential and could very well become a very good QB, but he has started just four pro games so far, which hasn’t given him enough time to develop, let alone show what he will be capable of doing.

Going back further, he played only one full season of college football at North Dakota State University in the FCS subdivision.

Some are already calling him a bust, but JJ Zachariason says not so fast.

The 49ers gave up three first-round draft picks two years ago to acquire the third selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, which they used on Lance.

Given how much capital they gave up in order to get him, it made some sense for them to give him the starting job over Garoppolo last summer.

In Week 1, the Niners lost on the road to the Chicago Bears, and although Lance didn’t play terribly, some felt he was lackluster.

However, it should be pointed out that he played poorly in the second half, during which Soldier Field was hit with a very strong rainstorm that made conditions on the gridiron very difficult.

The following week, Lance suffered a severe ankle injury, and there went his season.

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Purdy is expected to be able to throw a football again in early June, but since it is unknown if he will be ready for Week 1 of the 2023 campaign, let alone training camp, Lance could get another opportunity under center next season.

The post NFL Analyst Comments On A Confusing Trey Lance Narrative appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Damar Hamlin Reacts To Meeting President Biden

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(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

 

One of the most physically demanding and brutal sports in this country is football, and this year that became abundantly clear when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin almost lost his life on the gridiron during a game.

The sports world came to a halt when Hamlin collapsed during a Bills game, with the then-23-year-old motionless on the football field and looking as if he was never going to get up.

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Fortunately, after one of the scariest moments in NFL history, Hamlin was able to make a full recovery in the hospital.

Hamlin has since become an inspirational figure and recently paid a visit to the White House to speak with President Biden.

The Bills safety was incredibly grateful for the time with President Biden and took to Twitter to show his gratitude by replying to his tweet about the team getting to talk.

Player safety in the NFL, along with all other sports in this country, became a significant concern following what happened to Hamlin on the football field.

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It’ll be interesting to see what changes may come in the near future in the NFL as a result of this on-the-field incident and whether Hamlin decides to continue his football career.

With football being as brutal as it is, even with all the rules to protect players these days, it is pretty surprising that this hasn’t happened more often.

Hopefully, Hamlin continues to advocate for player safety as well as spread his message to those that need to hear it.

The post Damar Hamlin Reacts To Meeting President Biden appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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