Jedd Fisch Says Losing Assistants Led to Him Leaving Arizona for Washington

Dec 28, 2023; San Antonio, TX, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Jedd Fisch reacts at the end of the Alamo Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest blows to the Big 12 hierarchy in 2024 was the loss of Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch, who left the Wildcats after leading the program to its fourth 10-win season in program history.

Fisch took the Washington job after Kalen DeBoer left for Alabama, and as a result, several UA players decided to enter the portal.

It is worth noting that players like Noah Fifita, Tetairoa McMillan, and Tacario Davis will all be back for the 2024 season, though, and that Arizona is still very much in the hunt for a Big 12 title.


However, the Wildcats’ confidence under Brent Brennan isn’t at the same level as it was under Fisch, and the Arizona fanbase is probably still in a bit of shock that Fisch left for UW.

So, why did he do it? As Fisch tells it, he’d likely still be at Arizona if it weren’t for Nick Saban.

“The Nick Saban domino effect occurred,” Fisch said on The Jim Rome Show. “Coach Saban retired, and Coach DeBoer went to Alabama, and then this opportunity presented itself. This is a chance to be in the Big Ten. As the college landscape was changing every day, you start realizing that the cost of keeping assistant coaches was skyrocketing.


“If you couldn’t keep your assistant coaches, you were gonna end up losing players in the portal. If you’re gonna end up losing players in the portal, you’re not gonna be as successful. Three days after we talked our defensive coordinator left to go to Texas. Then as things started happening, you just started seeing that changes were on the horizon.”

Though the premise makes sense, Fisch’s logic on the portal will also affect him in Seattle. Though a number of Arizona players followed him to Washington, the Huskies lost 29 players after DeBoer left for Tuscaloosa.

So, would Fisch have been better off staying in Tucson? We’ll never know, but one thing is for sure: with Washington coming off a national championship appearance, the expectations will be high.

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