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Former Washington, Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse joins Husky football staff as program assistant

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 17, 2020

Washington's Jermaine Kearse (15) is congratulated by James Johnson after scoring on a 17-yard pass against Colorado in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, in Seattle.  (Associated Press)
Washington's Jermaine Kearse (15) is congratulated by James Johnson after scoring on a 17-yard pass against Colorado in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, in Seattle. (Associated Press)
By Mike Vorel Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Jermaine Kearse is coming home.

The former Washington Huskies and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver – who made an impact on Montlake from 2008 to 2011 – has joined the Huskies’ staff as a program assistant, the school announced Tuesday.

A UW spokesperson said Kearse will have a role in a variety of behind-the-scenes areas.

In four standout seasons with the Huskies, the Lakes High School product piled up 180 catches, 2,871 receiving yards and 30 total touchdowns. At the time of his departure, Kearse was the second-leading receiver in program history – behind only Reggie Williams, another Lakes alum.

And, even at UW, Kearse demonstrated a flair for the dramatic. He made a critical catch to set up the winning field goal in the Huskies’ 16-13 home upset of No. 3 USC in 2009. A year later, he hauled in a diving 46-yard reception against California and a 27-yard touchdown against Washington State in back-to-back weeks to help snap a seven-year bowl drought.

After going undrafted in 2012, Kearse signed with the Seahawks and compiled 153 catches, 2,109 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in five seasons – helping his home-state team to a Super Bowl title in 2013-14. Kearse corralled game-winning catches in the NFC title game in both 2013 and 2014, and also hauled in one of the most spectacular juggling receptions in Super Bowl history the following year.

Kearse, 30, played his final two NFL seasons with the New York Jets.

A Lakewood, Washington native, he announced his retirement Sept. 29. On Instagram, Kearse stated that “I’m leaving the game feeling extremely grateful and content with what I was able to accomplish out there on the field not only for myself, but my family as well. Going through some extreme highs and some extreme lows has taught me a lot about myself and by the grace of God he was able to pull me through the rough times and in the end all those experiences were all worth it.”

On the day of Kearse’s retirement, UW head coach Jimmy Lake made a point of saluting the Husky standout.

“What a phenomenal football player. What a phenomenal man,” Lake said during a Zoom news conference. “I’m going to try to recruit him to be around our program as much as possible. He’s a shining example of what a Husky is all about.”

It didn’t take long for Lake to get his wish.

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