The University of Washington Husky success has let to a number of coaching changes for head coach Chris Petersen this off-season
When you find success in the NCAA, it doesn’t take long to be noticed by the NFL. As a matter of fact, that is the case for two of the University of Washington Huskies positional coaches: wide receivers coach Bush Hamden and offensive line coach Chris Strausser.
You see, Hamden did a fine job with John Ross III, so well that the Atlanta Falcons brought him to Atlanta to oversee their offense as the team’s new quarterbacks coach.
Similarly, the team is parting ways with Chris Strasser.
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Christian Caple from The News Tribune captured the thoughts of head coach Chris Petersen in losing his offensive line coach Strasser to the NFL:
"“Chris Strausser has been an integral part of our staff for a long time, and I’m grateful for all of his hard work and dedication he’s put in over the years,” UW coach Chris Petersen said in a statement released by the school. “He’s an excellent coach and person, and I have no doubt that he’s going to be an outstanding coach in the NFL. We wish him and his family nothing but the best.”"
It’s tough to argue with the success that both Hamden and Strausser had with the Huskies. Strausser has worked with Petersen since 2001: both were members of the Boise State coaching staff until 2013, when Petersen became head coach of the University of Washington Huskies. Strausser followed Petersen, accepting the role of offensive line coach for the Huskies in 2013.
As a matter of fact, we know the results of these two. Wide receiver John Ross III is slated to rock the NFL in 2017. Two Husky offensive linemen, Trey Adams and Jake Eldrenkamp, made the All-PAC-12 first team, a rare honor for the Huskies.
Tough Act To Follow
The Washington Huskies do not pause. Each day, the team advances. In fact, right now, that means restaffing and getting ready for the new season. With two coaches departing for the NFL, that translates into filling two coaching positions.
And the team has done that, bringing in Matt Lubbick to serve as the wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator per Scoop.com. Still more, from the same website, the Washington Huskies announced the hiring of former Boise State co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Scott Huff as the new offensive line coach.
Position coaches have a doubly difficult job in the NCAA. Not only must the coach align philosophically with the head coach, but he needs to be personable and persuasive. Recruiting in college sports is just as important as game day.
In summary, effective position coaches must excel at both.
And even now, the University of Washington has a hard commitment from wide receiver Austin Osborne for 2018. It was important for Lubbick to speak to Osborne, a meeting that occurred yesterday per Ruth Robbins of 247sports.com.
Irons In The Fire
Even so, as you read this, the University of Washington is busily recruiting for the 2018 football season. On one hand, the team has offers out to nine uncommitted wide receivers and six uncommitted offensive linemen. On the other hand, with the team sitting at just three committed for the 2018 recruiting class, there is plenty of work to do.
Per 247sports.com, the Washington Huskies have the inside track on four-star wide receivers Marquis Spiker, Chase Williams , and Michael Wilson. The offensive line pipeline is less robust, as the Huskies are only favored at this far-too-early-to-get-excited-juncture on four-star offensive guard Steven Jones.
Coaches Know Petersen, And Petersen Knows Coaches
Both coaches have a history with Chris Petersen.
On one hand, WR coach Lubbick opposed Petersen as the wide receivers coach of the Oregon Ducks from 2012 through the 2016 season. And on top of that, in 2016 he assumed offensive coordinator duties from outgoing Oregon Duck’s coach Scott Frost.
On the other hand, OL coach Huff has the opposite experience. He has been a long trusted friend and ally of Petersen. Huff served in role of various positional coach under Petersen as a member of the Boise State coaching staff. Last season he served as both offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator.
Since both have been active coaches in the Pacific Northwest, and both have assumed positional coaching roles as their last season, expect both coaches to hit the floor running on the recruiting trail.
In conclusion, only time will tell. I believe the pair are good fits for the program both on the field and on the recruiting trail.