Huskies dealt huge blow with departure of DC Pete Kwiatkowski

by Kevin Nesgoda

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UW football coach Jimmy Lake will soon have a huge hole to fill on his staff, with Monday’s reports being confirmed this morning that the University of Texas will be making Huskies’ defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski an offer he can’t refuse.

Texas will certainly be offering Kwiatkowski more than the $1.1 million he is making in Seattle as the Huskies’ DC and linebacker coach. New Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian looks like he’s set on putting together a top-flight staff in Austin to right the UT ship, which veered off course during the Tom Hermann era. 

Kwiatkowski came to UW from Boise State, where he was part of Chris Petersen’s staff, and was a huge part of the reason the Huskies have been ranked in the Top 3 nationally in defensive scoring each of the past seven years. UW’s defenses have finished as the nation’s leader in defensive scoring four times during that same span.

Coach K’s influence has led the Huskies to establish an NFL pipeline for defensive players, including Budda Baker, Vita Vea, Sidney Jones, Kevin King, Byron Murphy, Taylor Rapp, Shaq Thompson and Marcus Peters … all of which were drafted in the first or second round since 2014. The Huskies currently have more than 15 defensive players on active NFL rosters.

While the addition of Kwiatkowski in Austin is a huge gain for the Longhorns, it is a major blow to the UW coaching staff moving forward and puts Jimmy Lake under the microscope when it comes time to pick a replacement. Lake’s first big coaching hire – offensive coordinator John Donovan – was not well-received upon announcement and remained a hot topic of scrutiny during the brief 2020 season, when Donovan’s play-calling was described by many as “lacking imagination” or “very vanilla.” 

With that being said, there’s no doubt that whoever is brought in to replace Kwiatkowski will be under some very watchful eyes from the Husky faithful. 


Cliff Gibson is the UW beat writer for the Cascadia Sports Network. He can be found on Twitter @cliffcgibson.

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