New deals offer stability, continuity for Chris Petersen and UW coaches

Co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake on new contracts: “We still have to grind and work hard, no matter what. It is never time to relax. We are in here to win championships.”

Jimmy Lake has been knocked down a few times in his 17-year coaching career.

In 2004, after just one season as the Huskies’ defensive backs coach, he was part of Keith Gilbertson’s staff that was fired after a 1-10 season. In 2011, less than a year after signing a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was part of the staff that was also let go.

Now entering his fourth season in his second stint on the Washington coaching staff, Lake isn’t taking for granted the spoils that have come with the Huskies’ resurgence.

In a high-pressure profession where insecurity is the norm — Lake, for example, has had eight coaching stops in 17 years — UW’s football staff is enjoying some rare stability.

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“I don’t even think about that word (stability),” Lake said Wednesday, a day after UW announced contract extensions and raises for Chris Petersen and his staff. “All I think about is that I am with a great group of guys. Chris Petersen allows us to have a great culture with our coaches where we can all bond together, work together, grind together and get better. It is a joy to come to work every single day.”

In negotiating his own extension, Petersen said a priority for him was to take care of his assistants. After the Huskies won the Pac-12 championship and advanced to the College Football Playoff for the first time last fall, the salary pool for UW’s nine assistant coaches rose from $3.54 million to $4.675 million with their new deals.

“There’s so many factors that come into play in terms of staff continuity,” Petersen said, “because I really feel like this place is going to attract the best of the best. I think we can recruit the best players, the best coaches…

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