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Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks hire ex-UW Huskies coach Ryan Grubb as offensive coordinator

Former University of Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, pictured in 2023 at Husky Stadium, is returning to town as Seattle Seahawks OC, sources say.  (Tribune News Service)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Former University of Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb will be named the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator, an NFL source confirmed Friday night.

Grubb spent the past two seasons at the University of Washington before following coach Kalen DeBoer to Alabama. The Seahawks pursued Grubb after they fired coach Pete Carroll and hired Mike Macdonald as his replacement.

Macdonald, the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator the past two years, plans to continue to call defensive plays. That meant that finding an offensive coordinator was viewed as the key hire in filling out his staff

Many had surmised that Grubb was staying at Alabama when he made an appearance at a booster function on national signing day Wednesday, saying, “I’m Ryan Grubb, I’m your new offensive coordinator.”

But Alabama’s website had continued to list only DeBoer under its section on coaches.

And one source had said following Grubb’s statement at Alabama that “nothing had changed” in regard to Seattle’s pursuit of Grubb.

A source had confirmed to the Times that Grubb was under consideration for the job when the news first broke a week ago Thursday.

The Seahawks, though, had been linked to other candidates in the interim, including Detroit passing game coordinator Tanner Engstrand and Chip Kelly.

One league source had said the Seahawks were conducting an exhaustive search.

But Kelly became out of the running on Friday when it was announced that he was leaving UCLA to take the offensive coordinator job at Ohio State under head coach Ryan Day, a former player of Kelly’s at the University of New Hampshire and who then worked with Kelly at three other coaching stops.

While Seattle had interest in Grubb from the minute Macdonald was hired, the Seahawks had to wait to seal the deal in part to allow a 30-day window for Alabama players to enter the portal to pass.

Nick Saban announced he was retiring as Alabama’s coach, opening a 30-day window. But that will pass as of Saturday.

Grubb, 47, came to UW in 2022 with DeBoer. He had first worked with DeBoer at Sioux Falls in 2007 and had followed DeBoer since in stops to Eastern Michigan, Fresno State and then UW.

There have also been rumors that Scott Huff, who was UWs offensive line coach in 2022-23 and had also followed DeBoer to Alabama, could also now follow Grubb to Seattle.

Indications Friday night were that it could happen, but that it was not a done deal.

Before Friday, there had not been any reports of the Seahawks hiring any offensive coaches, appearing to allow the new offensive coordinator to have a significant say in the staff.

The hiring of Grubb fills out what appear to be the most significant spots on Macdonald’s coaching staff.

It was confirmed earlier Friday that Seattle will hire Aden Durde as defensive coordinator. Seattle is also expected to hire Jay Harbaugh, the son of Jim, as special teams coordinator.

A source confirmed that Seattle has hired former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier as associate head coach.

The job will be Grubb’s first in the NFL.

But the Seahawks will be hoping he can replicate the success he had with the University of Washington the past two seasons as the Huskies went a combined 25-3, including a 14-1 this season that was capped with UW playing Michigan for the national title.

The Huskies finished 13th in the nation in points scored in 2023 at 36.0 and were seventh in 2022 at 39.7.

The news of Grubb’s pending announcement as offensive coordinator capped a day in which there were increasing rumors that he was still involved in Seattle’s search, despite his announcement at Alabama on Wednesday.

A source had confirmed other reports that Grubb remained in the mix for the job.

Now it will be official, with several posts on the social media site X reporting that Grubb was in Seattle on Friday night. A source confirmed that Grubb had met with Schneider and Macdonald on Friday night.