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Kalen DeBoer, Washington Huskies Head Football Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
November 15, 2022 7:05 pm

Kalen DeBoer, Washington Huskies Head Football Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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November 15, 2022 7:05 pm

Kalen DeBoer joined Zach to discuss how the Huskies were able to beat Oregon on Saturday and if he expected as much success as this team has had this season. 


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Whether you're looking to purchase a new home or refinance yours, Rocket Mortgage can help you get there for home loan solutions that fit your life. Well, Rocket candidates, this is Zach Gilp's show Coast to Coast on CBS Sports Radio, and the Washington Huskies are 8-2 on the season. They have moved up to 15th in the country after this past weekend. What an exhilarating victory over number 6, the Oregon Ducks, 37-34. Let's welcome in the first year head coach of the Washington Huskies, and that is Kalen DeBoer, back on the Zach Gilp show. Coach, congrats on the win. Appreciate the time. How are you? I'm great. Thanks for having me on the show.

Well, I appreciate you coming back on. How do you put it into perspective, what that win means for your program? Yeah, it's huge. It's not just another game. It's one of the couple games on the schedule that I know our fans all circle, and it's a great rivalry.

It's fun to be a part of, awesome atmosphere, whether it's home or away. And super proud of the way our guys performed, especially in the critical moments. It's nice to add another win to our win column in the big picture of the season. You guys started off the year 4-0 and then had to overcome some adversity, losing back-to-back games against UCLA and Arizona State. Now you have reeled it back in on a four-game winning streak, 8-2. How did you guys prevent the ship from sinking when you lost those back-to-back games against the Bruins and the Sun Devils?

Yeah, I had to credit our staff and credit the kids. We had a few things that just didn't go our way. We lost a couple close games, a couple one-score games. We still believe that we have a pretty solid team. We were battling a couple injuries and things like that, but we just worked to that point as a first-year staff and everyone still coming together to be able to get through those times. Since then, we've really responded and continue to stay focused on the right things. One game at a time, we've just kind of gone about taking care of business. We've won some close ones here as of late.

It continues to show the fight that our guys have. I know each year is different, but usually when you go through a losing streak, you rely on previous experiences to pull you out of it. I know you've been doing this for a long time, but as a head coach, Kalen DeBoer, you've only lost 11 games. You're 87-11. Do you even know how to deal with losing when it happens? There's only a couple speeches I guess I would go to.

You've got to evaluate the situation and figure out what the kids need to hear to learn from and to help them move on. Unfortunately, there's been a couple of those this year, but overall, I've been real lucky. To be 8-2, first year in and you kind of touched upon it. We had Sonny Dykes on a few weeks ago and they're undefeated. They're having a heck of a season, the Horned Frogs. He goes, you never really know what to expect your first year with the program. Is this surprising to you that your squad is 8-2?

Not completely. I felt like there was a lot of talent already in the roster. We've got some high character kids that have seen what a conference championship looks like back in 2018.

With COVID, a lot of those guys are still around. We added some great pieces. Mike Pennick's quarterback and a few other spots have really got us over the hump. We've been able to play more balanced football, offense, defense, special teams each and every week as we've grown.

We keep adding to our schemes and adding to our packages in all areas. The guys are really enjoying the growth that we've had as a team. You really have a mentally tough team because the building that you were going into in Eugene, they had a 23 game home win streak. You've got to have a mentally tough team to go in there and prevail through the ups and downs of a game like that. What did you sense from your team leading up to the week and did you see that mental toughness heading into the game? Yeah, that is absolutely a huge strength of ours. We talked about that even in the games in the first four when we jumped out to big leads and the gap started closing on us maybe a little bit. The two losses we had, we were in deficits of 14 and even more points in the first half and early third quarter. Our guys just have always battled. They've looked back on those experiences, learned from it. We won a couple close ones at Oregon State.

We were behind pretty much all but the last 12 seconds of the game here at our stadium two weeks ago. I have no doubt that those experiences and the trust that they have in each other and the belief is there. It's just a matter of not being overwhelmed by the moment. Our guys do a good job of just controlling what they can control. Coach Kalen DeBoer here with Dustin Washington Huskies off their big win against Oregon. I hate to ask the how does it feel type of question to any coach because we know that you're in a great mood after a win like that. For your kicker especially, I know you weren't there, but in 2018 he missed the potential game winning kick against Oregon to have him bounce back all those years later and get a little redemption.

Just what goes through your mind when you hear about that story and you see it unfold? Yeah, I couldn't be more happy for Peyton Henry, our kicker. He's a senior. It was a tip shot but game winning field goal against Oregon State here a couple weeks ago. I did not realize probably the details of what happened in 2018 until probably the last couple weeks. I knew that there was a kick that was missed at some point. I knew it was at Oregon.

The magnitude probably of those details. I just probably didn't understand it and now I do. That's when you just can't be as a coach more happier for someone who's fought through that and came out on the right end. He's such a good kid.

Our entire team is happy for him. Some of that's also overcome adversity. Coach Kaitlyn DeBoer has been your quarterback, Michael Penix Jr. We know he's always had the talent in Indiana, but he's had to go through a lot of injuries to see the year that he's having, a career year for you guys. What really is the way that you could describe his play and kind of tell his story? A lot of the things I've just said where we're overcoming the tough times of the game. A lot of it's spearheaded by Michael and what he does leading our offense and leading our team. I think that's just a small piece of what he's gone through in his career with the injuries and continuing to fight back. People maybe not counting you in and thinking that you can get it done, but he just keeps plugging away. He's super talented, really just doing an awesome job of balancing the intensity that you need to lead. The lead by example piece, he's focal when he needs to be. He's just a fun guy to be around for our team. He's gelled in the short amount of time here.

It's super cool to see. Ten games in to a new job, you clearly have to trust your players, but on the other end your players have to trust you. How did you guys really develop and build that trust as a program so quickly? Just hiring the right people to be around you. Your support, in that case my support and the staff that we have here. The ego is left at the door when they walk into a room.

The decisions we make aren't about who's making the decision, who gets the credit. I know most of the staff for quite some time. Many I coached with for a few years, some even longer. When those tough moments come, I think our players really see our staff gel together and come together.

That trickles down to them. That's how they operate when those tough times come as well. Kaitlyn DeBoer, you had a good situation at Fresno State.

You were doing a heck of a job. We know Washington is a big job, but why was it the right job for you? I think just like Fresno, it's got that winning tradition. It's got a great support, whether it be the fan base, the community, and stands for the right things. I think when you look at over the many decades of success that have happened here, and the way the alumni just care so much about this program, you can't help but want to be a part of it.

And add the resources, an awesome athletic director like Jan Cohen, and a president who are all in line in what we want to do here at UW. It's a special place and I'm so fortunate to be a part of it. What have you learned about yourself taking this new job first 10 games in year one? I just feel like I continue to be verified that if you just keep plugging away and take care of the things at the best of your ability each and every day, they stack on top of themselves and it's amazing how far you can come in a week, in two weeks, in a month, and now really over the course of a whole year. You know, every day is not going to be easy.

I think just a lot of that feeling that I've felt at different places, you know, with different jobs, just continues to be verified that that's really the only way to go about it. In the Oregon game, Dan Lanning with 126 to go, as you know, elected to go for it in his own 34 on fourth and one. Clearly you guys made the stop. Did that surprise you? Did that catch you off guard a little bit?

Not really. You know, just looking at their season and how aggressive they've been, you know, in all ways offensively, whether it be on-site kicks, you know, special teams, that's just the way that they've been as a team all year. Big games, home games, away games. They've, you know, been in their own side of the field and gone for it and that was, you know, one of the three, I believe, that they went for and the other two. I thought we were really close, you know, we were really close and we made them earn the extra inches that they took for them to get the first downs and that one, you know, we had it dialed up pretty good and it was a big moment and our guys came through. What did you say to your team after the game in the locker room when you guys are celebrating? Just that these are the moments that you're going to talk about, you know, years and years and years down the road, you know, and no one can ever take this away from you. It's about the memories and the journey that you're on that really matters because there's going to come an end to what we do, there's an end to that game, there's going to be an end to your career, you know, football. You know, hopefully it's beyond college but, you know, there's relationships, the memories, the journey we're on.

This is all going to be something we can talk about, you know, way down the road and it's pretty much a moment that's brought us a lot closer together as well. The conference has really had a heck of a year and there's a lot of good teams in this conference, the Pac-12. We know USC and UCLA are on their way out, just how do you kind of think about Washington's spot in the future of what's been a lot of changes in the moving landscape of college football, the realignment?

Yeah, I think we're comfortable with a lot of directions that it could go. I just feel like we have so much to offer. We're a special, you know, I don't want to, you know, kind of say it's all about us but, you know, we have, you know, the tradition and the fan base and, you know, I think the success over time will continue to keep us in a great spot to where, you know, we'll be just fine.

We know it's a heck of a program and that's been proven throughout the years but if a recruit asks you, Coach, what's your vision, what do you think Washington's football is going to look like the next four years if I commit to you, what do you say to that recruit? Yeah, I just, I mean, we have a couple national championship trophies sitting in our complex already, you know, and many conference championships and that just shows you right there that it can happen. And, you know, we're about 15 points away and can look at it a lot of different ways but we're about 15 points away from, you know, being undefeated at this time. And, you know, we're not and so that's the reality of what it is but, you know, big things have happened a lot of years in this program and we will continue to have that happen. It's got the foundation, it's got, like I said, the resources and, of course, most importantly, it's got the people, you know, I got the staff and the people that are supporting me, you know, through athletic directors, presidents, and so president and so forth. So, we're in a great spot, expect big things down the road. Last thing I'll ask you, when it comes to college football playoff expansion, it's trending towards 12 teams, we'll see when that goes into effect, just what are your thoughts on expanding the college football playoff? I mean, from our standpoint, I think it's great. I love being the guy that played or coached and played small college football, you know, where the playoffs are a big piece of what you really look forward to.

It's a new season. It's a special time and that happens usually in November, December and, you know, it kind of felt like that a little bit. I think the playoffs, the thing about playoffs is it's kind of a win or go home, you know, and the pressure and the magnitude of rooting for teams and whether you're a fan or, you know, you're working on the staff or a player, man, there's not a lot of things that are equivalent to, you know, playoff football. And, you know, that last opportunity that you get and not knowing if this is going to be your last game or if you're going to continue to move on.

So I'm excited about that and hope that opportunity comes here soon. What do you think the right number is? Because my one fear, I think four has worked out, you know, more than fine. My one fear is that it takes away from some of these big rivalry games and some of these big regular season games that we build up for all throughout the year. Yeah. I mean, I think it's, you know, we're obviously, we've talked about expansion, talking about more than four and, you know, I don't know exactly what that number is.

That's beyond me. There's a much smarter people that are figuring that out, but, you know, you know, the number is thrown around is, you know, 12 a lot. And so, you know, that's kind of the number I got in my head, you know, and so you kind of think about how many games and what that would look like and be fun to be a part of that. Well, coach, congratulations on the win up against Oregon. Good luck this upcoming weekend against Colorado. We appreciate the time. Thanks so much. Awesome.

Thanks for having me on. Download the free Odyssey app today. The listening you love is on the free Odyssey app, your trusted local radio stations, coverage of your favorite teams, live news from your hometown and millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience, follow topics you care about, like leagues and teams, pause or rewind your local sports and news and add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-15 23:06:48 / 2022-11-15 23:14:15 / 7

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