Here’s our early story with some nuts and bolts on Washington’s hire of Chris Petersen as football coach, which was officially announced a few minutes ago.
SEATTLE – After so many suitors tried and failed over the years, it was the Washington Huskies who finally wooed Chris Petersen away from Boise State.
Petersen, the eighth-year coach at BSU, has agreed to become the next coach at UW after Steve Sarkisian left on Monday for USC. UW officially announced the hire on Friday morning.
Washington athletic director Scott Woodward flew to Boise on Thursday night to work out the deal, and, according to reports, Petersen is expected to sign a five-year contract that will make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the conference.
Contract figures were not included in the official announcement. A press conference is anticipated for Monday. The school said Petersen met with Boise State players this morning to tell them he was leaving.
Petersen, 49, has coached Boise State to a 92-12 record since taking over as coach in 2006. He was reportedly in the running for the USC job before withdrawing last week. The Trojans eventually hired Sarkisian, and Petersen quickly became one of UW’s primary targets.
Petersen is a native of Yuba City, Calif., where he played quarterback in high school, then played quarterback at Sacramento City College, then transferred to UC-Davis, where he played for two seasons and was the top-rated Division-II passer in the nation.
He began his coaching career at UC-Davis, coaching freshmen in 1988-89 before coaching receivers from 1989-91. After a stop in Pittsburgh as quarterbacks coach, Petersen coached quarterbacks at Portland State from 1993-94, then was hired by Oregon to coach receivers from 1995-2000.
He’s been in Boise ever since. Boise State hired Petersen first as its offensive coordinator in 2001, then promoted him to head coach in December of 2005 after Dan Hawkins left for Colorado.
From there, Petersen had unprecedented success, winning 92 games in eight seasons. Boise State beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl in 2007 – a thrilling finish marked by trick plays and a game-winning two-point conversion in overtime – and beat TCU in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.
The Broncos finished undefeated in each of the seasons preceding those BCS bowl victories, finished with only one loss in three other seasons, finished unbeaten in conference play three times, and never lost more than four games in a season during Petersen’s tenure (though they’re currently 8-4 with a bowl game pending).
Petersen’s success with quarterbacks is well-documented. Kellen Moore, a native of Prosser, Wash., threw for 3,000 yards in each of his four seasons at Boise State, and broke a handful of BSU’s career passing records. Jared Zabransky quarterbacked the Broncos for three years, the last of which was Petersen’s debut season in 2006 when they finished undefeated.
Petersen is 5-2 in bowl games. His contract dictates that he must pay Boise State $750,000 if he leaves for another job, and according to the Idaho Statesman, his contract also requires him to coach the Broncos in their bowl game before leaving for another job to minimize damage done to the program. It is unclear if that is negotiable.
He was scheduled to be paid about $2.15 million in 2013, according to USA Today, and will likely receive a significant raise at UW.
Petersen’s name has been connected to several different jobs in recent years, including UCLA and Stanford. Each time, he stayed in Boise. Now he comes to Seattle to take over a Huskies team that finished the regular season with an 8-4 record, its best since 2001.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple