Insider breaks down why UW Huskies OC Ryan Grubb didn’t leave for Bama

Feb 1, 2023, 10:34 AM
UW Huskies...
Washington wide receiver Jalen McMillan (11) leaps in the air as he celebrates his touchdown with other team members against Arizona during the first half of an NCAA football game, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

After a very successful 2022 season, the UW Huskies return nearly every key contributor for the 2023 football season. And that includes the coaching staff.

Huard: The challenge Penix, DeBoer and UW Huskies now face in ’23

Husky fans held their collective breath early this week when it was reported that offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, who called plays for Washington’s No. 2-ranked offense, was visiting with Alabama and legendary head coach Nick Saban regarding the Crimson Tide’s opening at OC.

But on Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported that Grubb would not be heading south, instead opting to return to Washington for a second year.

“Well, it’s good news for Washington,” Rittenberg told Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Bump and Stacy on Tuesday. “A lot of coaches when they go to Tuscaloosa and meet with Nick Saban, it’s not some cursory interview over Zoom — this is a real thing. There was genuine interest (from both sides).”

Grubb returns to a UW Huskies team that is loaded offensively for 2023, with star quarterback Michael Penix Jr. coming back along with his two 1,000-yard receivers, Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan. That trio – and others on that side of the ball – helped Grubb orchestrate the No. 7-ranked scoring offense in the nation and the country’s top passing attack.

Grubb also maintains his partnership with head coach Kalen DeBoer, who he’s coached with for over a decade.

“I think Ryan could have had the job at Alabama but decided what was best for him was to remain at Washington with Kalen DeBoer, who he’s been with throughout much of his coaching career, to coach Michael Penix again and continue to build what they have going at Washington,” Rittenberg said. “So it’s obviously a great opportunity at Alabama, the history of those coordinators — especially the offensive coordinators moving on to head coaching jobs — is notable.”

If coaching at Alabama is such a great opportunity, why would Grubb decide to stay with the UW Huskies?

“I also think that Grubb after the interest that he’s generated this cycle – not just from Alabama, but from Texas A&M and some other schools, which led to his big contract – he’s in, I think, a position where he can go right to a Power Five school to be the head coach if he continues to have success at Washington,” Rittenberg said. “So his name is out there, but certainly a big win for Washington to be able to keep him on the staff.”

It should also be noted that Grubb received not just one raise but two during the 2022 season. According to Mike Vorel of the Seattle Times, Grubb is one of just three assistant coaches in the country who are known to be making $2 million or more annually for 2023.

There’s an upcoming shakeup in the Pac-12 as USC and UCLA will be leaving the conference after 2023 for the Big Ten. Former WSU and NFL wide receiver Michael Bumpus, co-host of Bump and Stacy as well as a Pac-12 Network analyst, wanted to know if Washington (along with Oregon) will be tasked with being the gold standard for the conference on a regular basis.

Rittenberg said yes, and he thinks the UW Huskies are starting to have more of a national profile once again.

“If you’re UW, which has a natural tradition … they’ve competed and won national championships there. I felt the program had gotten too quiet – even when (former head coach) Chris Petersen was there and winning, you just didn’t hear very much about Washington,” he said. “I think you’re starting to hear more about them after the year they had, and obviously being able to keep coaches like Ryan Grubb helps that profile that they’re building. And the fact that they’re paying him $2 million, Washington wasn’t doing that long ago. And they did it with (former defensive coordinator) Jimmy Lake and they’re doing it now with with Ryan Grubb as far as paying their assistant coaches and investing in the program to position themselves not just for this year, but for 2024 and beyond, to be more of a national player.”

Listen to the full conversation with Rittenberg at this link or in the player below.

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