After the last season, almost the day after the Huskies lost the Apple Cup to the Washington State Cougars, the university's athletic department hired Kalen DeBoer to be head coach. DeBoer was, at the time, the head coach at Fresno State, a smaller school that was known for having a strong offense. And one thing the Huskies needed was a better offense.
I was a bit worried. DeBoer had only been in Fresno one year. Before that he was at a very small school (University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota). How would DeBoer handle the pressures and spotlight of a much bigger school? Would he succeed? Or would it overwhelm him? Spoiler alert: he succeeded.
Back in 2008-2009 when the Huskies weren't doing very well, I delineated what I would call a "good season." It was:
- Win at least 8 regular season games (out of 12)
- Beat Oregon (we haven't beat Oregon since 2017)
- Beat Washington State
- Go to a good bowl game
- Win that bowl game
That is amazing for a coach's first year in a new (for him) program. There was a dark time during the season. In week five we lost to Arizona State and in week six we lost to UCLA. Both were away games. It doesn't seem to matter who is the coach or who are the players, we always seem to lose to Arizona State at their stadium and we tend to lose our first away game.
We don't know what bowl game we'll get. There is a possibility we'd get the Rose Bowl and play Ohio State. That would be a tough game. In any case, we should get a good bowl game. We'll have to see if they win it.
The University has extended DeBoer's contract. They did that even before the Apple Cup. And they Huskies should only get better.