Former New England Patriots defensive play caller Steve Belichick is set to take on the role of defensive coordinator for the Washington Huskies, according to a source from The Athletic on Sunday.
The 36-year-old, son of Bill Belichick, has been responsible for directing the Patriots’ defense over the past four seasons. He has been part of the coaching staff in New England since 2012 and collaborated with Jedd Fisch in 2020, during Fisch’s tenure as the Patriots quarterbacks coach.
The decision to hire Belichick is noteworthy in light of the recent success of former NFL assistants transitioning to college defensive coordinator roles.
In 2023, three of the top eight ranked defenses in FBS were led by coordinators with NFL backgrounds. Michigan, under former Ravens assistant Jesse Minter, secured the No. 4 spot, while Notre Dame, coached by former Bengals assistant Al Golden, claimed the No. 5 position.
UCLA, under the guidance of former Ravens assistant D’Anton Lynn, ranked No. 8. Notably, these three schools were also among the top five in red zone TD percentage: 1. UCLA; 3. Notre Dame; 5. Michigan.
A significant portion of the new Washington coaching staff joined Fisch from Arizona, where he achieved a 10-win season in his third year with the Wildcats.
The entire offensive staff, including OC/O-line coach Brennan Carroll, QB coach Jimmie Dougherty, tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Jordan Paopao, running backs coach Scottie Graham, and wide receivers coach Kevin Cummings, made the move from Tucson. Additionally, secondary coach John Richardson and defensive line coach Jason Kaufusi also followed suit.
Belichick’s addition to the coaching lineup now gives the Huskies the distinct honor of having the sons of Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick as the coordinators for UW. Under Kalen DeBoer, the Huskies played for the national title and achieved a 25-3 record over the past two years. However, with the majority of the starters from last year’s Pac-12 championship team moving on as they transition to the Big Ten, the team faces the challenge of rebuilding.
The article also discusses the impact of Nick Saban’s retirement on three West Coast programs and evaluates the winners and losers in the transfer portal, highlighting Oregon’s acquisition of quality quarterbacks and Arizona’s retention of a dynamic duo. Additionally, it explores the reasons for optimism and concern for each former Pac-12 football team in 2024.