It is commonplace in modern college football for a new head coach to bring many of his assistant coaches with him when he takes a new job. Even more so when the hire happens outside of the time period immediately following the end of the regular season and the number of available options drops. Jedd Fisch reportedly is bringing his entire offensive staff along with him as well as a few other members on the defensive side of the ball per Dennis Dodd, Jason Scheer, and Bruce Feldman.
It appears that ultimately nine members of Fisch’s Arizona staff flew to Seattle today and are expected to take on their same roles on the new Washington staff. Here are each of those names with a bit of background on each.
Brennan Carroll- Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach
This is likely the most prominent name for Seattle sports fans. Carroll is the son of Seahawks coaching legend Pete who was just let go this past week after 14 years at the helm. He coached under his dad as the run game coordinator/offensive line coach for the Hawks from 2015-20 before joining Fisch’s staff. Prior to that his college experience comes from 10 seasons as a recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach at USC and Miami.
The expectation is that Jedd Fisch will call plays as he did at Arizona which means that Carroll can focus primarily on the offensive line and recruiting rather than calling the game from the booth as Ryan Grubb did under DeBoer.
Carroll played tight end in college at Delaware and then Pittsburgh.
Jimmy Dougherty- Quarterbacks Coach/Passing Game Coordinator
This is a familiar name for slightly older Husky fans. Dougherty was the wide receivers coach under Steve Sarkisian at Washington and helped develop players such as Jermaine Kearse and Jaydon Mickens. He also coached the WR corps at UCLA prior to joining the Arizona staff. Dougherty has experience with quarterbacks since he was one in college at Missouri. He also coached both receivers and quarterbacks at University of San Diego and San Jose State before and after his first stint at Washington respectively.
Jordan Paopao- Tight Ends Coach/Special Teams Coordinator
Another familiar name for Husky fans. Paopao was a fan favorite as the tight ends coach for 7 seasons before Jimmy Lake took over and decided to replace him by promoting graduate assistant Derham Cato. During Paopao’s time at Washington he helped develop Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Will Dislly, Drew Sample, and Hunter Bryant. At Arizona, he helped turn Tanner McLachlan into an all-conference pick. Prior to his time at Washington, Paopao played collegiately for Jim Harbaugh at USD and then was a recruiting assistant for him at Stanford.
Scottie Graham- Running Backs Coach
Graham was a three-year starting running back at Ohio State and was drafted in the 7th round by the Jets in 1992 which led to a 6 year NFL career. After his playing days were over he went into administration and worked in the NFLPA for 15 years at roles including Director of Player Engagement. From there he went to Arizona State as a senior associate AD for 7 years before deciding to get into on-field coaching when he joined Fisch’s staff. Graham helped recruit star running back Jonah Coleman (6.8 YPC last year) who has since entered the transfer portal and is strongly considering a reunion at Washington.
Kevin Cummings- Wide Receivers Coach
It sounds like Cummings is headed to Seattle but could potentially be talked into returning to Tucson based on who the head coach there becomes and if they’d be willing to bump him up to an offensive coordinator role. Cummings is a rising star who held the same role at San Jose State before getting hired by Fisch and played collegiately at Oregon State so he has strong West Coast ties. The receiver position has been Arizona’s strongest under Fisch with Dorian Singer and Jacob Cowing each having huge seasons plus the recruitment and development of superstar Tetaroia McMillan. It remains to be seen if T-Mac would consider following Cummings to Seattle.
Jason Kaufusi- Defensive Ends/Outside Linebackers Coach
Kaufusi was a standout player at Utah before they moved to the Pac-12 earning 1st team all-Mountain West honors twice as a Salt Lake City native. He started his college coaching career in earnest at Weber State before moving on to Nevada and then UCLA coaching a combination of defensive line and outside linebackers. Kaufusi also spent one season at Weber State as the defensive coordinator which helped earn him a promotion to the Mountain West.
John Richardson- Cornerbacks Coach
Richardson is from Compton, California but spent 2 seasons as a starting corner at North Dakota State after beginning his career playing JUCO. He began his coaching career at his alma mater of NDSU where they won a national title every year he was on the staff. Richardson then followed NDSU head coach Craig Bohl to Wyoming where he spent 6 years as the cornerbacks coach there. He broke into the Pac-12 as the Washington State CB coach for 2 seasons before getting hired in the same role at Arizona so he has experience both in the state and the region.
Tyler Owens- Strength Coach
There were reports last night that Husky strength coach Ron McKeefery was at the initial Jedd Fisch meeting last night but it appears Fisch is bringing in his own guy. In a somewhat ironic twist, Owens got his start at Alabama under Nick Saban where he played linebacker and got a degree in exercise science and kinesiology. He was an assistant strength coach for the Tide during the heart of the Saban championship days before deciding to join Fisch’s staff when he took over at Arizona.
The roles that are not represented by this group include: Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Line coach, Linebackers coach, and Safeties coach. It is possible that Fisch may choose to retain current co-DCs William Inge and Chuck Morrell and/or DL coach Inoke Breckterfield, all of whom appear will not be joining the DeBoer staff at Alabama. It is also possible that Fisch could look to make independent hires for any or all of those roles.