In 2017, few teams boasted a more formidable defense than the Washington Huskies. They finished fifth in total defense, allowing just 277.4 yards per game, outpaced only by Wisconsin, Alabama, Michigan, and Georgia, two of whom are in the College Football Playoff and one who has suffered only a single loss. That could have been a very different story, had co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake left for Cal, as rumors suggested he might.
Last off-season, it was reported that the Bears and Lake had agreed to terms except for one: a $500,000 buyout, which Berkeley wasn’t willing to pay, according to the Seattle Times. This year, with Lake’s name being mentioned among a number of coaching searches, he has agree for at least one more season at Washington, staying through for the 2018 year.
In an era of constant coaching turnover, having Lake back on staff for a fifth season is big for the Huskies. With Lake, Washington has become home to one of the nation’s top defenses, and in particular, the secondary, which is under his charge as defensive backs coach. He had followed coach Chris Petersen from Boise State, and in 2014, as the defensive backs coach — a role he served at Boise State as well — and defensive pass game coordinator, inherited a defense that included three true freshmen and four sophomores. The Huskies still finished the year No. 9 in turnover margin.
Since, Washington has annually been among the tops in defense, much of that thanks to Lake and a penchant for player development that includes All-America and second-round NFL draft pick Budda Baker.
This year, the Huskies allowed just three teams to score more than 20 points while limiting eight to two touchdowns or less.
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