The first official act of Jimmy Lake as University of Washington head football coach was to fire two offensive assistants that he worked alongside Saturday at the Las Vegas Bowl, coordinator Bush Hamdan and tight ends coach Jordan Paopao, the Huskies announced in a statement Sunday afternoon.
“I’ve really enjoyed working alongside Bush and Jordan and appreciate their contributions to Husky football,” Lake said in the statement. “These decisions are extremely difficult, but I believe it’s in the best interest of our program to make these changes to align with the vision we have for our team moving forward. I wish them both nothing but the best.”
Hamdan came under public criticism this season after the UW offense under-performed relative to expectations with the arrival of highly regarded transfer QB Jacob Eason, and the return of an experienced offensive line. The Huskies’ pass offense, with a weak receivers group, finished ninth in the Pac-12 with 243 yards a game and sixth in yards per attempt (7.7).
In four conference games against Cal, Stanford, Oregon State and Colorado, the Huskies failed to score 20 points in each.
Hamdan played under former coach Chris Petersen at Boise State and was in his second year in the OC job after being a quality control assistant in 2015 and the wide receivers coach in 2016.
He spent 2017 as quarterbacks coach for the Atlanta Falcons. QB Matt Ryan was sixth in the NFL in passing yards (4,095) and the Falcons won a wild-card game on the road over the Los Angeles Rams.
In three seasons at Boise State (2006-08) as Petersen’s starting quarterback, the Broncos were 35-4, including a 13-0 mark in 2006 and a win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. The Gaithersburg, Md., native earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Boise State in 2008 and received his master’s in athletic administration from Idaho State in 2009.
Paopao finished his seventh season as tight ends coach, the longest-tenured member of the UW staff, named to that position in January 2013 after having served the previous two seasons as a graduate assistant at Washington. His star player was junior Hunter Bryant, who led UW with 52 receptions for 825 yards. He declared for the NFL draft and didn’t play in Washington’s 38-7 win over Boise State Saturday.
The most urgent question hanging over the program is the fate of Eason, who is eligible for the draft but said after the game that he has yet to decide whether to stay. If he was unhappy with Hamdan, it was never discussed publicly. Now, it’s no longer an issue.