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Washington hires Arizona coach Jedd Fisch to replace Kalen DeBoer

DeBoer left Washington for Alabama earlier this month after leading the Huskies to the CFP national championship game

Jedd Fisch's Arizona team went 10-3 in 2023, just two seasons after going 1-11.
Jedd Fisch's Arizona team went 10-3 in 2023, just two seasons after going 1-11. (Bruce Yeung/Getty Images) (Bruce Yeung via Getty Images)

Jedd Fisch is heading north from Arizona to Washington.

Washington announced Sunday evening that it had hired Fisch, 47, as its next head coach to replace new Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer. Fisch rebuilt the Arizona football program over his three seasons as head coach; the Wildcats went 10-3 in 2023 and ended the season on a seven-game winning streak that was capped by a win over Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.

One of Arizona’s three losses during the season came at home to Washington on Sept. 30. The Huskies won that game 31-24 — one of their 10 straight wins by 10 points or fewer as they advanced to the national title game. Arizona held Heisman runner-up Michael Penix Jr. without a TD pass, though Penix was 30-of-40 passing for 363 yards.

Arizona emerged in 2023 as Noah Fifita established himself as one of the better quarterbacks in the Pac-12. Fifita was 241-of-333 passing for 2,869 yards and 25 TDs with just six interceptions in 12 games.

Fisch took over for Kevin Sumlin following an 0-5 season in 2020. Arizona went 1-11 in 2021 and was one of the worst teams in college football. But the Wildcats took a big step forward in 2022 and went 5-7, with wins over then-No. 9 UCLA and Arizona State in the final three weeks of the season.

Before he was hired at Arizona, Fisch was a longtime assistant in both college football and the NFL, and he spent two games as UCLA’s interim coach in 2017. Fisch was the quarterbacks coach for the New England Patriots in 2020 and worked two seasons with the Rams as an offensive assistant before that.

Fisch also has experience in the Big Ten as Washington makes the move from the Pac-12. He served as Michigan’s passing game coordinator in 2015 and 2016 before he joined UCLA’s coaching staff. Prior to working at Michigan, one of Fisch's coaching stops included serving as the QB coach for the Seattle Seahawks under Pete Carroll in Carroll's first season with the team in 2010. Carroll's son Brennan has been Fisch's offensive coordinator at Arizona.

Fisch's first roster task at Washington will be to figure out the quarterback position. The Huskies had former Mississippi State QB Will Rogers lined up to replace Penix in 2024, but Rogers put his name in the transfer portal after DeBoer’s departure.