Boise State’s Chris Petersen has accepted an offer to become the Washington Huskies new head coach, the school announced this morning.
Washington had offered to make Petersen, 49, one of the highest-paid coaches in the Pac-12, sources told The Seattle Times. He was scheduled to make $2.2 million at Boise State this season and has a $750,000 buyout in his contract.
UW did not immediately release details of Petersen’s contract. UW said it waited to make the announcement of Petersen’s hiring until after the coach had met with his players at Boise State this morning.
A press conference is scheduled for Monday afternoon to formally introduce Petersen.
“On behalf of the University of Washington and the entire Husky Nation, I am proud to welcome Chris Petersen as our new head football coach,” Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said in a statement. “Coach Petersen’s success and record are extraordinary, but even more impressive is the man himself. His integrity, work ethic and character make him an outstanding fit and leader of our student-athletes at UW. We are thrilled and proud to call Coach Petersen a Husky.”
Petersen has a 92-12 record in his eighth season at Boise State, with victories in two BCS bowl games and a 2-0 record against Oregon. He is the only two-time winner of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award, given to the nation’s top head coach, awarded after Boise State’s two unbeaten seasons (13-0 in 2006 and 14-0 in 2009).
Petersen, said to be an avid fisherman, has preferred the relative low-key atmosphere of Boise. He has said in interviews that he doesn’t particularly enjoy being in the media spotlight.
He has been linked to a number of head-coaching jobs in recent years and reportedly was a top candidate at USC earlier this week before withdrawing his name from consideration earlier this week.
He’s reportedly had opportunities to leave for Stanford and UCLA in the past two years. Washington was the one Pac-12 program finally able to persuade him to leave Boise.
Former UW coach Steve Sarkisian took the USC job on Monday after five seasons with the Huskies.
ESPN first reported this morning that Petersen had accepted the UW job. It was five years ago today that Sarkisian was announced as the UW coach, succeeding Tyrone Willingham.
Petersen is a native of Yuba City in northern California, and he has spent virtually his entire career in the West.
Before becoming the Boise State head coach in 2006, Petersen was offensive coordinator for the Broncos from 2001-05. According to his Boise State bio, the Broncos’ offense featured one of the most potent attacks in the country during Petersen’s time as coordinator, averaging 41.3 points per game while also finishing as the nation’s top scoring team twice (2002 and 2003).
Petersen was the wide receivers coach at Oregon from 1995-2000.
Before that, Petersen served as the quarterbacks coach at Portland State from 1993-94, helping the Vikings advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs both seasons.
In 1992 Petersen was the quarterbacks coach at Pittsburgh.
As the star quarterback at the University of California, Davis, Petersen was named the Northern California Athletic Conference Player of the Year and was the top-rated Division II quarterback in the nation as a senior. He still holds the Division II record for career pass completion percentage (69.6 percent), according to his bio. Petersen was inducted into the UC Davis Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.
Petersen, born Oct. 13, 1964, and his wife, Barbara, are parents of two sons, Jack and Sam.