UW Huskies Insider

More on Washington’s hire of Chris Petersen

Post by Christian Caple on Dec. 6, 2013 at 9:20 am with 11 Comments »
December 6, 2013 9:21 am
FILE - This Nov. 26, 2011 file photo shows Boise State head coach Chris Petersen during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wyoming on in Boise, Idaho. Petersen enters his eighth season as the Broncos' head coach when fall camp opens Monday. He's 84-8, making him the winningest active coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision. He arrived at Boise State in 2001 as the offensive coordinator and, at 48, has become one of the nation's most respected coaches. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley, file)
FILE – This Nov. 26, 2011 file photo shows Boise State head coach Chris Petersen during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wyoming on in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley, file)

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 christian.caple@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. Ewa_Dawg says:

    So we traded one 8-4 coach for another. Coach Pete could stay at UW for a looooong time. Lets hope he can work the same magic with much more resources and against much, much, much, much more difficult competition.

  2. SeahawkFan12 says:

    Ewa-Dawg, take a few “much”es out of it. Boise State took on some big opponents form SEC, ACC, PAC-12 (10)…You guys won BIG with this hire. We’ll miss him at Boise State.

  3. Macabrevity says:

    No reason to ever be a Boise State fan, but what this guy did there got me interested in a team that I would’ve otherwise ignored. Great hire for the Huskies.

  4. PugetHawk says:

    Well said SeahawksFan12…Boise State has not only played but beaten most of the BCS conference teams put in front of them over Peterson’s tenure. I believe the teams with Kellen Moore could’ve competed for PAC-12 titles each year.
    As a life long Dawg fan and Boise State Alumni, I think Washington got a great coach!

  5. pharmer9 says:

    In my mind Petersen is a good coach. He walked into a good situation and was given a lot of credit for it. I owe some of his success to the staff he had and the community…. In some ways he is overrated in my mind but time will tell…. I will add as soon has our program in Boise began to turn down, he decides it is time to leave….We will have another coach, hopefully, Justin Wilcos and BSU will again be a dominant football team again…. If you prefer, a very good team. As a Udub former student I pull for the Huskies but don’t get your hopes too high. I think Petersen has something to prove first.

  6. pharmer9 says:

    A great hire? hmmmm. He will start from scratch whereas Boise had a full house when he was hired so give him the credit for being a very good football team?
    Yeah I know, Boise State, too much hype, and I agree some but the Kellen Moore years where years many a team would love to have. We have the community and support to make many coaches successful and I don’t know if
    Petersen will succeed without it, ie, Dan Hawkins at Uof Colorado, and others…..

  7. pharmer9 says:

    Will Petersen be a Don James? I instinct is no but maybe a good coach but not a great coach. He comports himself well as a coach and he is so guarded in his comments I just wonder.
    If he can recruit he will be successful but he did not do that well at BSU.

  8. SeahawkFan12 says:

    “A full house”? pharmer9? Are you feaking serious? Boise State had farm kids and ‘tweeners NOBODY wanted when Petersen took over. Guys with talent but not enough to get invites from Pac-12(10), Big-12 and BIG-10 schools. UW has tons of talent right now; he’s taking over a fully stocked cupboard and wet bar. You guys should be dancing in the streets over this. In fact, THAT is why Sark left; he had a good chance at getting canned if the level of play stayed where it currently is with the CURRENT roster; you only need fog a mirror to know the talking heads were predicting his firing after the bowl game.

    And Boise State never got “too much hype”; we’ve been the whipping child for the ESPN circus for years. SEC fans, coaches and sports writers won’t even acknowledge Boise State even after we kicked Georgia’s ass in the Georgia Dome on national TV.

    And DO NOT make the same narrow-minded mistake many other do of drawing the Chris Petersen/Dan Hawkins comparison. I have a great friend and colleague who served at high positions on both of their coaching staffs and BELIEVE this…they are two COMPLETELY different coaches and leaders.

    This was a tremendous hire. Consider yourself very fortunate. You will love this hire when UW is in the Rose Bowl–possibly in the National Title discussion–within the next 3-5 years…or sooner.


    You’re welcome ;)

  9. SeahawkFan12 says:

    And what criteria are you using for “he did not do that well at Boise State” when discussing recruiting? What are you using to come to that conclusion? You clearly don’t know much about Boise State.

    This guys CAN recruit; and when armed with the resources and facilities that UW has (something he’s lacked for the last 13 years at Boise State), he’s going to bury Sark and the rest of the Pac-12 in recruiting AND keep guys in class, at graduation, and out of jail.

    Oregon may be his closest competitor for talent…and that shall remain to be seen.

  10. I’m lovin’ it. For his accomplishments at that level, frequently rising above to kick azz on the national powerhouses, there has GOT to be some great coaching in that.

    That being said, I hope he doesn’t introduce a measure to install blue turf in Dawg Stadium.

  11. bowplanes says:

    …or rather purple turf? (I sure hope not!) Even he probably got sick of the blue stuff after a few years and THAT’s the reason he finally left!!!! Gawd that stuff assaults the senses and I think it gave Eastern their BAD idea as well.

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