Fresno State hires Jeff Tedford for 2nd stint as coach

Ron Holman
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FRESNO, Calif. — Fresno State is bringing back Jeff Tedford for a second stint as coach after Kalen DeBoer left to take over at Washington.

Athletic director Terry Tumey announced that Tedford returns after coaching the Bulldogs from 2017-19. Tedford had a 26-14 record at his alma mater before stepping down for health reasons.

Tedford took over a 1-11 team following the 2016 season and led the Bulldogs to double-digit wins his first two seasons, winning the division in both those seasons and the Mountain West Conference championship in 2018.

Tedford played quarterback at Fresno State in 1981-82 under Jim Sweeney and coached at Fresno State under Sweeney from 1987-88 and 1992-96, and under coach Pat Hill in 1997.

Tedford has a 108-71 career head coaching record, having also spent 11 seasons at California.

Tedford will take over after the Bulldogs play in the New Mexico Bowl against UTEP on Dec. 18 under interim coach Lee Marks.

Washington hires Fresno State’s Kalen DeBoer as head coach

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Washington hired Fresno State’s Kalen DeBoer on Monday to lead the Huskies, handing a program that has struggled offensively to a coach with a track record of productive and creative offenses.

The 47-year-old DeBoer met with Washington officials in Fresno, California, early in the day and the deal was announced a few hours later.

DeBoer has spent the past two seasons at Fresno State, going 12-6. The Bulldogs went 9-3 this season, including a victory against UCLA. They lead the Mountain West in yards per play (6.34) and yards per game (463.6) and are second in scoring (33.6 points per game).

“My family and I are so grateful for the opportunity to lead such a storied program and be part of this prestigious institution,” DeBoer said in a statement. “The tough, hard-nosed tradition of Washington football speaks for itself, and it was obvious throughout this process that UW is committed to competing at the highest level.”

He previously worked under Jeff Tedford at Fresno State during the 2017 and 2018 seasons as offensive coordinator. He left to take the offensive coordinator job at Indiana for the 2019 season before returning to Fresno State in 2020 after Tedford stepped down for health reasons.

His history with Tedford likely played in DeBoer’s favor with Washington. Tedford has a tight friendship with former Washington coach Chris Petersen, who has served as an adviser for athletic director Jen Cohen since he stepped down after the 2019 season.

Tedford also worked as a consultant for Washington during the 2016 season when the Huskies won the Pac-12 championship and reached the College Football Playoff.

“We set out to find the best fit for Husky football and we found an individual that exemplifies everything this program represents,” Cohen said in a statement. “Kalen is a winner and champion, plain and simple. He has succeeded at every stop because he does it the right way and is committed to a culture of excellence for Husky football student-athletes.”

Prior to his time at Fresno State, DeBoer worked at Eastern Michigan and Southern Illinois, and was the head coach at his alma mater Sioux Falls from 2005-09. He went 63-7 in five seasons as head coach, winning three NAIA championships.

Washington is replacing Jimmy Lake, who was fired on Nov. 14 after just 13 games coached. Lake was suspended for making physical contact with one of his players on the sideline on Nov. 6 in a loss to Oregon. A week later, Lake was dismissed, capping a downward spiral season that started with a loss to FCS powerhouse Montana in Week 1 and never improved.

Washington lost its final four games and finished with a losing record for the first time since 2009. The late-season slide was capped with a 40-13 loss to Washington State in the Apple Cup, the worst loss for the Huskies in the 113 games played between the rivals.

While DeBoer appears to be a solid choice and has the previous head coaching experience that was a requirement for the Huskies, he lacks some of the big name clout many Washington fans were hoping would come with the hire.

The hope for the Huskies is DeBoer works out as well as their last hire of a former Mountain West coach, when Petersen made the move from Boise State in 2013.

DeBoer will be inheriting a youthful team with only a small group of seniors but likely significant turnover between graduation, players entering the NFL draft and likely movement in the transfer portal.

Washington’s recent success gives rise to expectations of a swift turnaround. Washington is one of only two Pac-12 schools to have reached the College Football Playoff and it made a bowl game every year between 2010-19. Washington played in three straight New Year’s Six bowl games between 2016-18.

“We could not be more excited to get to Seattle and get to work,” DeBoer said.

AP Top 25: Michigan St up to 5; Wake in top 10 for 1st time

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Michigan State moved up to No. 5 in The Associated Press college football poll and Wake Forest became a top-10 team on Sunday for the first time in school history.

Georgia is a unanimous No. 1 for the fourth straight week in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. The rest of the top four was unchanged from last week, with Cincinnati at No. 2, Alabama at No. 3 and Oklahoma at No. 4.

Star running back Kenneth Walker and the Spartans jumped three spots by beating Michigan in the weekend’s biggest game. The last time Michigan State broke into the top five was 2015 when the Spartans made the College Football Playoff.

The first CFP selection committee rankings of the season will be released Tuesday night.

In the AP poll, Ohio State slipped a spot to No. 6 despite holding off Penn State and Oregon was No. 7.

No. 8 Notre Dame, Michigan and Wake Forest rounded out the top 10.

POLL POINTS

The Demon Deacons have their best ranking in program history, topping the No. 11 they reached in 1947. Wake Forest had been the only team in a Power Five conference that had never been ranked in the top 10.

The Demon Deacons reached another first on Saturday, improving to 8-0 with a victory against Duke.

IN

– No. 20 Houston is ranked for the first time under coach Dana Holgorsen after handing SMU its first loss of the season. The last time the Cougars were in the Top 25 was 2018.

Houston is the 45th different team to appear in the Top 25 this season.

– No. 24 Louisiana-Lafayette is back in the Top 25 after being in the preseason poll and falling out after losing its opening game.

– No. 25 Fresno State also returned to the rankings after handing San Diego State its first defeat in a crucial Mountain West game.

OUT

– Pittsburgh dropped from No. 17 to out after losing at home to Miami.

– Iowa State is out again after losing at West Virginia. The Cyclones jumped back into the rankings last week, but it turned out to be a brief stay.

– San Diego State fell out after a four-week run.

CONFERENCE CALL

Two Power Five leagues, the Atlantic Coast Conference and Pac-12, have just one ranked team while two from the Group of Five, the American Athletic Conference (three) and Sun Belt (two), have multiple teams ranked.

SEC – 6 (Nos. 1, 3, 12, 13, 15, 18).

Big Ten – 5 (Nos. 5, 6, 9, 19, 22).

Big 12 – 3 (Nos 4, 11, 14).

American – 3 (Nos. 2, 20, 23).

Sun Belt – 2 (Nos. 21, 24).

Mountain West – 1 (No. 25).

ACC – 1 (No. 10).

C-USA – 1 (No. 16).

Pac-12 – 1 (No. 7).

Independents – 2 (Nos. 8, 17).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 12 Auburn at No. 13 Texas A&M. Third time the Tigers and Aggies have met while both are ranked since A&M joined the SEC in 2011.