Kalen DeBoer says Ryan Grubb knows Washington can be special, calls their relationship unique
Kalen DeBoer could have lost his offensive coordinator this offseason.
At another school, for another coach, maybe Ryan Grubb would have parlayed the acclaim from an 11-2 season into a bigger job. Texas A&M came calling. Nick Saban and Alabama even hosted him for a conversation. And yet Grubb’s feet remain firmly planted in Seattle.
“He knows what he has here,” DeBoer said Friday at a pre-spring press conference. “I think it’s unique and special, as far as the potential we have at Washington.”
In DeBoer’s first media appearance since news emerged of Grubb’s trip to Tuscaloosa, the Husky head coach talked about the trust he has in Grubb.
Their relationship goes back years. They were together at Sioux Falls from 2007-13. They went to Eastern Michigan together from 2014-16. They went to Fresno State together in 2017, and then when DeBoer came back to Fresno in 2020, Grubb became his righthand man.
Grubb asked for the trust of DeBoer and UW athletic director Jen Cohen when he went to Tuscaloosa. He probably didn’t even need to ask.
“We have a unique relationship because we go back so many years. Back when we were first working together in 2007, we knew each other before that. I think there comes a point where you just have full-out trust in people,” DeBoer said. “The cool thing about Coach Grubb, and really our staff in general … while they’re here and working, they’re where their feet are at. They’re working and pouring everything into our players and our program and making it better.
“I see many coaches where it’s like, where is my next move? How do I get this title or at this level? Our coaching staff — and Coach Grubb is a great example, he just continues to work where his feet are at. Those are opportunities that are going to continue to come his way as we have success, like a lot of our other staff. When you go 11-2, there’s people looking at you. It’s not just him. It’s other coaches as well. I think it’s a tribute to how much they enjoy our players and enjoy working together that, knock on wood, we still have all 10 of our coaches and much of our off-field staff still with us going into next year.”
UW is looking for more in 2023. That quest takes its next step on Monday when the Huskies open spring ball. Expectations are high, and if UW can meet them, the next cycle in the coaching carousel will more than likely include some attention paid to Husky assistants once again.
“He’s a big reason why we’ve had success,” DeBoer said of Grubb. “There will come a point in time when these guys get their opportunities and I’m going to be super proud of them.”
Neither Grubb nor DeBoer is ready for this special partnership to end just yet, though.