Jedd Fisch says goodbye to Arizona; fans blast comments as disingenuous
Jedd Fisch accepted a lucrative and lengthy offer on Sunday to be the next head coach of the Washington Huskies.
Shortly after things became official, Fisch put out a letter to Arizona fans on social media. In it, he said he was “brokenhearted” to be leaving Arizona after three years with the program. But, given comments made by Fisch less than two weeks prior, fans trashed his goodbye message as disingenuous.
“When I first arrived at U of A, I knew we could create something truly special,” he said. “Today, I am brokenhearted to leave not just Arizona, but the people who have given us so much and who believed so deeply in the magic we created.
“I absolutely have loved my time as a Wildcat and never thought my family and I would ever leave. Unfortunately, that day has come. It was a gut-wrenching and agonizing decision. But, I am proud to leave everything in a better place than when I came. My goal was to return the pride and to make winning personal here. And, we did.”
— Jedd Fisch (@CoachJeddFisch) January 15, 2024
Multiple reporters in Tucson arrived at the UA’s football facilities Sunday afternoon after it became clear Fisch was leaving. Players were called to a meeting that was quite short.
The team meeting was very short. Jedd Fisch walked in, said that he’s leaving for Washington and left. Players are not happy.
— Justin Spears (@JustinESports) January 14, 2024
Reports emerged immediately after the regular season that Arizona was working to extend Fisch. He spoke openly and positively about extension talks in the weeks that followed.
Fans have pointed to those comments in the wake of Fisch’s departure and aired their frustrations with him. The general sentiment on social media? Here’s a sampling:
You sir have zero integrity. What you did to these kids and this program at this time is unforgivable.
“We believe we have an opportunity here to turn Arizona football into having the same success that Arizona basketball has had over the last 30 years, but to do that you’ve…
— Brian Ralston (@brianralston) January 15, 2024
This was all set in motion by Nick Saban’s sudden retirement at Alabama. On Friday, just days after leading Washington to the College Football Playoff National Championship game, Kalen DeBoer left his post at Washington to take the Alabama job. He spent just two years in Seattle and looked to be building something impressive.
UW moved quickly to hire Fisch.
“I had high aspirations for what we were going to do here. If I didn’t think we could win nine games, I wouldn’t have moved my family here. That’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to win,” Fisch said in November. “And if our guys can continue to believe and trust the process and keep getting better, I think we can not just do that one year, I think we can do it each year.”
Arizona was set to return nearly every starter from the 2023 team, including star wideout Tetairoa McMillan and quarterback Noah Fifita. They hadn’t been hammered by transfer portal departures, and that was said to be because the culture built within the program was that of a real family.
Fisch then went on the Jim Rome Show in early January and said the delay in signing a contract extension was just because of semantics.
“We want to be a part of this program for a long time,” he said. “… I have no interest in going anywhere.”
Fisch and his family boarded a plane to fly to Seattle Sunday night.
— Washington Football (@UW_Football) January 15, 2024