UW’s defense will have a bit of a new look heading into 2018. Bruce Feldman is reporting that Jimmy Lake will be promoted to Defensive Coordinator.
SOURCE: #Washington’s Jimmy Lake will get elevated to defensive coordinator & will be the defensive play-caller. Lake had plenty of big opportunities to go someplace else and this move couldn’t have happened without the selflessness of Pete Kwaitkowski who will be a Co-DC.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 16, 2018
As Feldman indicates, current DC Pete Kwiatkowski will continue on as co-Defensive Coordinator leaving the Washington Huskies coaching staff completely intact.
Lake had been serving as the co-Defensive Coordinator and secondary coach under Kwiatkowski since last season. Widely viewed by the industry as a “high potential” young coach, Husky fans have been anticipating that becoming a defensive playcaller would be Lake’s next move. That he will have that experience while continuing with the Husky staff is a surprise and an indication of the commitment that both Chris Petersen and Kwiatkowski have to the development of young coaches on their staff.
Whether or not Lake’s ascension will result in any changes in defensive strategy remains to be seen. Lake’s influence on playcalling has been steadily increasing as it is. There were rumors circulating that it was Lake, not Kwiatkowski, that called the plays during the Fiesta Bowl. Given that, this move is probably less about strategy and more to allow Lake the opportunity to gain experience managing game time decisions within the context of the current defensive philosophy. It would surprise nobody, however, to see Lake given a little latitude to put his own stamp on the defense.
This move comes on the heels of UW having added Will Harris on as the “10th coach”. Harris will focus on the defensive secondary presumably to offload some of the work that Lake would have otherwise shouldered as he works on this transition.
Regardless, this experience will do nothing but increase the number of opportunities that Lake has to run his own defense or, perhaps, take over as a head coach somewhere else in the near future. Let’s enjoy him while we have him.