Kalen DeBoer signed a two-year contract extension during his debut season with the Washington Huskies last fall that would keep him in Seattle through the 2028 season. After an 11-2 campaign in Year 1, DeBoer doesn’t need to fret much about job security.

Yet he currently finds himself in a position few head football coaches like to be in: without the athletic director who hired him.

USC announced on Monday it has hired UW athletic director Jen Cohen to the same position. Cohen was introduced at a press conference Monday afternoon and officially began in her new role Tuesday morning. UW has an interim in place, but it’ll now begin the search for a permanent replacement.

Given the nonstop NFL speculation that surrounds USC head coach Lincoln Riley, perhaps UW fans were left wondering whether Cohen could, if given the opportunity, try and lure DeBoer to Los Angeles in the coming years for a reunion.

“I love it here. There’s a lot of things that are holding me here, too,” DeBoer said when asked about such a scenario on Tuesday, perĀ The Seattle Times’ Mike Vorel. “I’ve got a daughter who’s planning to play softball here. I love it here. (Cohen) brought me to this place, and it was a very attractive place (when you) take how I was persuaded to come here out of it. This place stands by itself as super special.

“We’ve worked hard, and I think when you’re a head coach, with everything you pour into it, there’s an investment that’s on another level. I feel so strongly about UW, and my family does as well. We’re feeling like we’re just getting included into the community and feeling good about that.”

DeBoer also noted that he has already spoken with UW president Ana Mari Cauce and expects to be involved in the search for the school’s next athletic director.

“I know I’ll be involved in a capacity, for sure,” he said, per Vorel.

That’s almost assuredly the best approach Cauce can take in the situation. Keep your breakout star of a head coach in lockstep with you as you chart the course of the athletic department going forward. UW is headed to the Big Ten in a year; its next hire will be an important one.

It was reported when DeBoer agreed to his extension that the head coach’s buyout sits at $12 million until Feb. 1, 2025, before dropping to $10 million the next year, then $7 million in 2027, and $2.5 million in 2028.

Cohen already owes UW a buyout of her own, but with USC set to enter the Big Ten as a fully-vested partner next year, money might not exactly be an issue for the Southern California school.

Getting DeBoer to pull his roots up from Seattle? That’s a different story. For now.