Fresno State in the market for a new head football coach as Kalen DeBoer leaves for the University of Washington

Bulldog Sports

HONOLULU, HI – OCTOBER 02: Head coach Kalen DeBoer of the Fresno State Bulldogs looks on before an NCAA football game against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at the Clarance T.C. Ching Complex on October 2, 2021 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – On Thanksgiving Day, the Fresno State football team won at San Jose State, giving the Bulldogs their ninth win of the season and their 12th win in two seasons with Kalen DeBoer as the team’s head coach.

As of Monday, DeBoer is no longer the team’s head coach.

DeBoer has been hired by the University of Washington to be the Huskies’ head football coach. Washington has been in the market for a new head coach since November 14th, when Jimmy Lake was fired after an incident in which he put his hands on a player.

“While we are saddened to see Coach DeBoer leave Fresno State, we are grateful for his service to our university and our community over the past two years,” said Terry Tumey, Director of Athletics at Fresno State, in a news release. “We did all that we could to keep Coach and his family in Fresno, but we understand that this is an incredible opportunity for them.

“We will move swiftly and diligently in our search for a new head coach, while supporting our current student-athletes and actively recruiting the next generation of Bulldogs,” added Tumey. “There is no doubt that the tremendous young men in our program, as well as our long history of success on the field and the support of our passionate Red Wave fan base give us a uniquely strong foundation to move forward. The pride and tradition of Fresno State Football will carry on.”

Kalen DeBoer, 47, departs with a 12-6 overall record as Fresno State’s head coach. He was hired in December of 2019 to replace Jeff Tedford, who stepped down for medical reasons. It was the second stint at Fresno State for DeBoer, who was Tedford’s offensive coordinator from 2017-2018.

2020 was Kalen DeBoer’s first season as a head coach at the FBS level. At the NAIA level, DeBoer was 67-3 from 2005-2009 at Sioux Falls (NAIA) with three national championships. He went 3-3 in his first season leading the Bulldogs, an unprecedented year that was both shortened and saw two cancellations due to COVID-19.

Despite those challenges, Fresno State still led the Mountain West in total offense in 2020, putting up 479.3 yards per game.

In 2021, with a returning Jake Haener at quarterback, the Bulldogs are averaging 33.6 points per game. Under Kalen DeBoer’s tutelage, Haener has passed for 3,810 yards with 32 touchdowns. He has thrown for more than 300 yards in a game eight different times this season.

DeBoer has also guided the Bulldogs to two Top 25 wins this season for the first time since 2004: at No. 13 UCLA and No. 21 San Diego State.

DeBoer had previously served as the offensive coordinator at Eastern Michigan, from 2014-2016, when he was hired by Tedford for the same role at Fresno State ahead of the 2017 season. During those two seasons with the Bulldogs, DeBoer helped the program win 22 games and the 2018 Mountain West championship.

The Bulldogs won 12 games in 2018, a school record for a single season. In 2017, they became just the second program in FBS history to go from a double-digit losing season (1-11 in 2016), to a double-digit winning season (10-4 in 2017.)

In 2019, Kalen DeBoer was the offensive coordinator at Indiana. He helped guide the Hoosiers to an 8-5 record, their first winning season since 2007.

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