Fresno State completed its 2021 season at 3 p.m. on Saturday, with a 31-24 New Mexico Bowl win over UTEP.
Forty-five minutes later, the Washington Huskies completed their coaching staff.
New UW head coach Kalen DeBoer hired five more Fresno State staffers — William Inge as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, Chuck Morrell as co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, Lee Marks as running-backs coach, Eric Schmidt as defensive-ends coach and special-teams coordinator and Ron McKeefery as head strength and conditioning coach — the program announced Saturday.
Inge served as DeBoer’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach during the last two seasons at Fresno State. He followed DeBoer from Indiana, where the two shared a staff in 2019.
“Coach Inge is a dynamic coach and person who has great knowledge and understanding of what it takes to build a great defense,” DeBoer in a statement. “His ability to connect with players and reach their hearts and minds is special. He did an amazing job each and every day creating an ‘attitude’ and ‘culture’ the past two seasons, which led to turning around the defense at Fresno State. I am looking forward to the leadership and impact he and Coach Morrell together will bring to our UW Dawg defense.”
Under Inge’s watch in 2021, the Fresno State defense ranked first in the Mountain West in opponent completion percentage (52.6%), second in opponent pass efficiency rating (117.85), third in total defense (342.3 yards allowed per game), third in rushing defense (127 yards allowed per game) and third in third down defense (35.8% conversions). The Bulldogs did struggle to mitigate explosive plays, allowing 25 completions of 30 yards or more (11th in the conference).
In 2020, Fresno State’s 4.17 sacks per game led the Mountain West and ranked third in the country.
Inge spent a total of seven seasons at Indiana — as special-teams coordinator (2018-19, 2016), linebackers coach (2013-17) and co-defensive coordinator (2013-15). He made previous stops with the Buffalo Bills (2012), the University of Buffalo (2010-11), Cincinnati (2008-09), San Diego State (2006-07), Colorado (2005), Northern Iowa (2001-04) and Iowa (1998-2000).
A Kirkwood, Missouri, native, Inge played linebacker at Iowa from 1993 to 1996.
Morrell has been with DeBoer from the beginning.
Before Morrell and Kalen DeBoer embarked on coaching careers, they played together at the University of Sioux Falls — Morrell as a safety, DeBoer as a wide receiver. They won a NAIA Division II national championship together in 1996, with Morrell leading the team in tackles (he inducted into the Cougars’ Hall of Fame in 2016).
They worked together for a decade at their alma mater — DeBoer as offensive coordinator (2000-04) and head coach (2005-09), Morrell as defensive coordinator (1999-2009). Unsurprisingly, when DeBoer earned the head job at Fresno State in 2020, he hired Morrell to serve as his safeties coach.
So it makes sense that Morrell would also oversee the safeties in Seattle.
Morrell brings head-coaching experience to Washington as well. Following a single season as South Dakota’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 2010, he served as head coach at Montana Tech from 2011 to 2019 — earning a 52-44 overall record, three Frontier Conference championships and three conference coach of the year awards along the way.
“There’s only one or two people in the entire world that I would leave Montana Tech to go work for. One of them is obviously Kalen DeBoer,” Morrell told the Montana Standard in 2020. “Kalen and I have a longstanding relationship, we played college football together back in the 90s and spent about 10 years coaching together before we split and went different ways.
“There’s certainly a tremendous amount of respect for DeBoer and what he is accomplishing in his career, and when you get an opportunity to go back and work with people that you really respect, I think you have to take it into strong consideration.”
In Fresno, California, Marks tutored standout running back Ronnie Rivers — who has piled up 1,295 rushing yards, 4.96 yards per carry, 629 receiving yards and 16 total touchdowns over the last two seasons, earning first-team All-Mountain West honors in 2020.
Marks — who played running back at Boise State from 2001 to 2005 — joined DeBoer’s Fresno State staff following six seasons at his alma mater, where he coached the running backs (2015-2019) and also served as director of special teams (2019) and assistant strength and conditioning coach (2014). Previous stops included Arkansas State (2013), South Dakota State (2012), Sioux Falls (2010-11) and Colorado (2007-09).
After DeBoer was hired by UW, Marks was named interim head coach as Fresno State prepared for the New Mexico Bowl.
“I am extremely excited about the addition of Coach Marks to our UW football program,” DeBoer said in a release. “I have known Coach Marks for over 10 years, and I’ve always been impressed with his success in recruiting and developing elite running backs throughout his career. Coach Marks is also more than a great football coach. He is a great leader and mentor who has a tremendous passion to build strong relationships with our team, staff, university and community.”
Schmidt — who served as Fresno State’s defensive-line coach and special-teams coordinator in 2020 and 2021 — first shared a staff with DeBoer at Southern Illinois from 2010 to 2013. He played linebacker at North Dakota from 1998 to 2001 and coached at his alma mater in two separate stints, in 2006-07 and 2014-19.
A two-time collegiate strength and conditioning coach of the year, McKeefery served under DeBoer as Fresno State’s assistant athletic director for sports performance and head football strength coach in 2020 and 2021.
Prior to arriving in Fresno, McKeefery spent four years of the vice president of performance and education at PLAE Academy — helping to train USA Team Football, the Chinese Olympic Committee, the Georgia Swarm of the National Lacrosse League and many others. He previously worked in various strength and conditioning roles with Eastern Michigan University (2014-16), the Cincinnati Bengals (2013-14), the University of Tennessee (2011-12), South Florida (2001-10), NFL Europe’s Berlin Thunder (2000), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1999-2000) and the Kansas City Royals (1998).
In 2016, McKeefery was named collegiate strength and conditioning coach of the year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He earned the same honor in 2008 from the Professional Football Coaches Society.
At UW, McKeefery succeeds longtime head strength and conditioning coach Tim Socha — who arrived in Seattle with Chris Petersen in 2014.
“Coach Mac is among the best in business when it comes to strength and conditioning, and player development,” DeBoer said. “He is an outside-the-box thinker who excels in balancing foundational principles with new, cutting-edge ideas. Ron’s ability and relentless pursuit in building an elite ‘team’ culture is second to none, and I’m looking forward to seeing the immediate impact he’ll have at UW, building our team physically and mentally.”
UW 2022 coaching staff
Head coach: Kalen DeBoer
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks: Ryan Grubb
Running backs: Lee Marks
Wide receivers: Junior Adams
Tight ends: Nick Sheridan
Offensive line: Scott Huff
Co-defensive coordinator/linebackers: William Inge
Co-defensive coordinator/safeties: Chuck Morrell
Defensive line: Inoke Breckterfield
Defensive ends/special teams: Eric Schmidt
Cornerbacks: Julius “Juice” Brown
Head strength and conditioning coach: Ron McKeefery
Director of player personnel: Courtney Morgan