Washington Huskies reportedly turned down by coaching target

After Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer left for Alabama, there was much speculation regarding his successor. Kansas coach Lance Leipold was a hot topic.

According to FootballScoop, Leipold was “at the epicenter” of the Washington coaching search on Sunday, but he shortly tweeted that he was enthusiastic about sticking with Kansas and turned the Huskies down for an extension:

Washington and new athletic director Troy Dannen, who came from Tulane, targeted Leipold for obvious reasons. The Jayhawks went 9-4 under Leipold.

That was a big change from his 2-10 season two years before, their 0-9 record in Les Miles' final season in 2020, and their 21-108 record from 2010-2020 under Turner Gill, Charlie Weis, David Beaty, and Miles.

Leipold was successful at Buffalo before joining Kansas. The Bulls improved dramatically under his leadership from 2015-20, going 37-33.

He was great at Wisconsin-Whitewater, going 109-6 from 2007-2014 and winning six Division III titles.

His reputation for winning at every level fits Dannen, who had success with the Green Wave under Willie Fritz (who moved to Houston this offseason). It's hardly surprising that he was offered the job, but his rejection is intriguing.

The Kansas coach is unlikely to reject a Big Ten institution that recently reached the national championship game. Washington appears to have football advantages over Kansas.

But DeBoer is a tough act to follow, and the Huskies face massive offseason attrition to the NFL Draft and transfer portal. After current Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb indicated he wouldn't be the head coach, he was reported to join DeBoer at Alabama.

Washington has several possibilities. According to John Brice of FootballScoop, Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch “has been involved in the search and remains a viable candidate

and “Chris Klieman [Kansas State] and other FBS head coaches have been vetted as well We'll see where the Huskies land and if their next target wants the job.

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