SEATTLE – New Washington coach Jimmy Lake made his first major coaching hire Friday, adding John Donovan as the Huskies’ new offensive coordinator.
It’s not as splashy a hire as some Washington fans were hoping for after Bush Hamdan was fired. Donovan has five years of experience as a college offensive coordinator – three at Vanderbilt and two at Penn State – but he spent the past four seasons working on the offensive staff of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Donovan will also be Washington’s quarterbacks coach.
“Coach Donovan has a great deal of experience at both the college and NFL levels, learning from a lot of great offensive minds about coaching the kind of aggressive, pro-style offense we want to play here at Washington,” Lake said in a statement. “From my own experience, I know how much a coach can learn and grow by spending significant time in the NFL. I’m excited for him to get to Seattle and get started.”
Donovan will make $850,000 for the upcoming season, according to a memorandum of understanding from the school. His salary will get a bump to $875,000 for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. There are also additional incentives for team success and academic achievement.
Donovan was a defensive back in college but switched to coaching on the offensive side of the ball in the mid-2000s while an assistant at Maryland.
He became an offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt under James Franklin in 2011 and followed Franklin when he went to Penn State in 2014. Donovan was fired after the 2015 season.
During his four years with the Jaguars, Donovan spent two seasons working with quarterbacks, one coaching tight ends and one coaching running backs.
Donovan has not coached on the West Coast and his hiring may seem underwhelming to fans after rumblings that the Huskies were trying to lure Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore back to his home state.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.