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Former USF All-American, Coach and Milbank native Kalen DeBoer is the new Washington Huskies football coach

DeBoer leaves Fresno State for Power 5 Washington
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 11:08 PM CST
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SEATTLE, WA (Dakota News Now) -University of Washington Director of Athletics, Jennifer Cohen, announced Monday that Kalen DeBoer has been selected as the 30th head coach in Husky football history. DeBoer, 47, comes to Montlake from Fresno State, where during the 2021 season, he led the Bulldogs to a 9-3 overall record in his second year in charge.

Over his seven seasons as a head football coach, DeBoer has compiled a 79-9 (.898) record. During his 25 years in coaching, he has consistently prospered at multiple levels and in different roles, helping to build and revitalize programs while establishing a diverse network of contacts, in both coaching and recruiting, across the country.

“I could not be more excited to welcome Kalen and his wonderful family to the University of Washington,” said Cohen. “We set out to find the best fit for Husky football and we found an individual that exemplifies everything this program represents. Kalen is a winner and champion, plain and simple. He has succeeded at every stop because he does it the right way and is committed to a culture of excellence for Husky football student-athletes. His strong value alignment with our department, university and community will make all of Husky Nation proud.”

“My family and I are so grateful for the opportunity to lead such a storied program and be part of this prestigious institution,” said DeBoer. “The tough, hard-nosed tradition of Washington football speaks for itself, and it was obvious throughout this process that UW is committed to competing at the highest level. This is a perfect fit for me and I would like to thank Jen Cohen and President Cauce for their trust. We could not be more excited to get to Seattle and get to work.”

“I am excited to begin the next era of Husky Football by welcoming Kalen DeBoer to the UW family,” said University of Washington President, Ana Mari Cauce. “Coach DeBoer is committed to supporting our students on and off the field, and will help them be successful both in football and in their lives and careers after graduation. I share our community’s enthusiasm about the future of Husky Football under Coach DeBoer’s leadership.”

Immediately prior to leading Fresno State’s program, DeBoer was on staff at Indiana University, as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. After helping to guide the Hoosiers to an 8-5 record and a berth in the Gator Bowl, DeBoer returned to Fresno State, taking over for Jeff Tedford, who resigned for health reasons following the 2019 season.

The Hoosiers’ eight victories in 2019 matched their highest wins total in 26 seasons, and IU ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten in total offense. Six different members of the Indiana offense earned some level of All-Big Ten recognition.

In 2017, Tedford, in his first season as head coach at Fresno State, hired DeBoer as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In two seasons in that role, DeBoer helped the Bulldogs to overall records of 10-4 (2017) and 12-2 (2018), along with two division titles, two bowl game victories and the Mountain West Conference Championship in 2018.

A school-record setting wide receiver at the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.), DeBoer later led his alma mater to three NAIA National Championships in five seasons as head coach, winning the title in 2006, 2008 and 2009, while also finishing as runner-up in 2007 and making the semifinals in his first season as head coach, in 2005.

During his five seasons at Sioux Falls, DeBoer compiled a 67-3 overall record, including a 49-1 mark in Great Plains Athletic Conference play. In two seasons at Fresno State, he had a 12-6 overall record, giving him a career record of 79-9. He was NAIA National Coach of the Year in each of his three championship seasons at USF.

After the 2009 season, he took a job at Southern Illinois as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach from 2010 through 2013. He moved to Eastern Michigan as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2014 through 2016, helping the Eagles to their third-ever bowl-game berth in 2016.

As a student at Sioux Falls, DeBoer set records in both football and baseball. During his football career, he compiled 3,400 yards and 33 touchdowns on 234 career receptions – all school records at the time – and played on the 1996 NAIA Division II National Championship team, which beat Western Washington in the final. He also played baseball for the Cougars, batting .520 (still a school record) as a senior in 1998. His career average of .492 is still best in USF history as are his 37 career homers, and .944 slugging percentage.

A 1998 graduate of the University of Sioux Falls with a degree in secondary education, DeBoer and his wife, Nicole, are the parents of two daughters, Alexis and Avery.

Story courtesy Washington Athletics

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