By: Mason Kelley
When the 520 Bridge is closed for the weekend and Washington’s coaches need to get to work, the commute from the Eastside to Seattle isn’t easy.
When the driving gets difficult, defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake takes his boat. The bridge has been closed several times recently, so he invited coach Chris Petersen and linebackers coach Bob Gregory to make the trip across the water with him.
They headed for Husky Stadium early in the morning and, after working well into the night, the coaches traveled back to the marina where Lake leaves his boat.
“It’s a little boating carpool,” Lake said with a laugh.
For Lake, spending time on the water has been big part of his life since 2004. His children were younger, and they would spend the summer swimming, sharing, reading and eating on the family’s boat.
“We’ve just had an amazing amount of family time out there,” Lake said.
While coaching in the NFL with Tampa Bay, Lake spent time on the Intracoastal Waterway, but the saltwater “beat up his boat pretty good.” During his time at Boise State, he had a boat slip at Lucky Peak State Park.
“We just drove out there and hopped in the boat,” He said. “We love the outdoors.”
Now back at Washington – he coached defensive backs for the Huskies under Keith Gilbertson in 2004 – Lake continues to spend as much time as he can on the water.
“With all this fresh water around here, I’m really enjoying it,” he said.
Last week, Lake’s boat hosted a team-bonding outing for the coach’s unity group, comprised of players from various position groups – no defensive backs. They trolled to Ivar’s, ate and shared stories.
There’s just something about being in a boat that gets people to open up and share experiences.
“You’re in those close confines, so you better be able to talk and have some conversations and enjoy each other’s company,” Lake said. “It’s just a great experience.”
When asked if he’s got a name for his boat, Lake laughed.
“It’s just a little speedboat,” he said. “Maybe if we win a few Rose Bowls, I’ll get one of those big boats out there and I’ll name that one.”