Kalen DeBoer enjoyed immediate and roaring success at Washington.

He’s one of the winningest active head coaches in college football, so predicting success was a pretty safe endeavor, but few saw UW going 11-2 in his maiden voyage. The Huskies entered the season with question marks aplenty. They could have swung the season either way.

Instead, DeBoer and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb engineered one of the country’s most efficient offenses — led by a record-breaking season from quarterback Michael Penix Jr. — to help lead a charge back up toward the top of the Pac-12.

One year removed from a four-win campaign, UW won 11. No other coach in program history had ever won more than eight games in their debut season, and no one had won a bowl game in Year 1.

For all of that, DeBoer earned one of the top grades from ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, who handed out his end-of-the-year report cards for first-year head coaches this week.

Of the 29 first-year head coaches at the FBS level, DeBoer was one of seven to earn an A grade from Rittenberg.

Here’s what he wrote:

Washington is in a completely different place than it was a year ago, mainly because of DeBoer and his staff. He reshaped a languishing offense, which went from 73rd in passing and 107th in scoring last season to first and eighth this fall. Indiana transfer quarterback Michael Penix Jr. blossomed under DeBoer and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, becoming a fringe Heisman candidate and passing for 4,641 yards and 31 touchdowns. DeBoer beat rivals Oregon and Washington State, and set a team record for most victories in his first season as coach. He dramatically improved the culture around the program to the point where Penix and other standouts decided to return for 2023. Washington is undoubtedly a team to watch in the Pac-12 again.

DeBoer was one of four first-year coaches in the Pac-12.

USC’s Lincoln Riley received an A- from Rittenberg. Oregon’s Dan Lanning earned a B+. Washington State’s Jake Dickert got a B-.