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Petersen reportedly UCLA’s first, top target

Chris Petersen AP

With the carcass of Rick Neuheisel‘s UCLA tenure not yet cold but still hurtling toward the final stages of rigor mortis, potential replacements for Pistol Rick have already begun to surface.

Houston’s Kevin Sumlin, Cincinnati’s Butch Jones and ex-Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach have all been mentioned as possibilities for the flailing football program.  So has Boise State’s Chris Petersen, who we — OK, I — feel simply will not happen based on myriad factors, including the perceived lack of commitment to football as evidenced by its subpar football facilities.

According to one report, however, the Bruins are still going to make a run at a coach who has consistently turned down high-profile opportunities over the past handful of seasons.

Citing influential people with knowledge of the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported late Monday afternoon that the Bruins have identified Petersen as the first coach the athletic department will target, with Guerrero set to take a trip to Boise to meet face-to-face with the Broncos coach.  The Times notes that the university would be prepared to provide annual compensation to Petersen in the neighborhood of $3 million, although that likely wouldn’t get his attention.  The following, though, just might:

Plans to refurbish the Bruins’ practice facility and a commitment of about $2 million for assistant coaches are expected to be part of the package, accord to one person close to the situation.

Again, there’s a general consensus among those in the college football know that, while Petersen may listen to Guerrero’s pitch, he would ultimately turn down whatever was presented.  However, addressing facilities and assistant salaries in a meaningful way would seemingly go a long way in maintaining Petersen’s interest, or at least more so than other opportunities that have arisen in the past.

In the end, though?  Expect Petersen to do to the Bruins what he’s done to them on at least one other occasion — “thanks, but no thanks.”

Once Petersen turns Guerrero down, the Bruins could then turn their attention to Sumlin and Jones, as well as, according to, former Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti and Tom Cable, the former Oakland Raiders head coach who is now a member of Pete Carroll‘s Seattle Seahawks’ coaching staff.

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21 Responses to “Petersen reportedly UCLA’s first, top target”
  1. fitz66 says: Nov 28, 2011 10:18 PM

    Stay put, Chris. For all that is good about college football – stay put.

  2. leftcoastfan says: Nov 28, 2011 10:38 PM

    Would love to see CP in LA on the big stage with access to top talent – Pac12 with Petersen, RichRod, and Leach is much more interesting.

  3. bobulated says: Nov 28, 2011 10:50 PM

    UCLA fans would have every right to take to the streets and riot if Guerrero is deluded enough to hire Tom Cable. Hire a proven college coach like Leach who is desperate to get back in the game.

  4. lottsmissingfinger says: Nov 28, 2011 11:03 PM

    For purely selfish reasons I want Petersen to stay at Boise. If he leaves the top candidate to replace him would probably be Bryan Harsin.

  5. sf987 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:06 PM

    No way Petersen goes to UCLA. He hasn’t left before and UCLA really isn’t a marquee football job IMO. Petersen’s a Northwest guy. A name I’m surprised that’s not out there is Herm Edwards- NFL track record and I bet he’d be an excellent recruiter. Plus he has Southern California ties

  6. burntorangehorn says: Nov 28, 2011 11:09 PM

    I’d be shocked if Peterson were to leave BSU for UCLA. UCLA plays in an out-dated stadium located about 17mi. away, and that probably needs $300 million in upgrades to be considered a competitive stadium. My guess is the school’s been in a holding pattern on any new stadium plan for a really long time, just waiting for the NFL to throw a team back to the metro area and share in the promotion of a state-of-the-art stadium. Not going to happen soon enough for the Bruins, I fear.

  7. dcroz says: Nov 28, 2011 11:09 PM

    I find it amazing that a school that has as rich an athletic tradition and as much money as UCLA can have such poor facilities. I had several friends and family members that went to the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, and all of them reported that the Rose Bowl was in terrible shape. I don’t know if the city of Anaheim or if UCLA is responsible for its upkeep, but either way it seems shocking that such an iconic structure should be in such sad condition. If the Bruins hope to be as successful in football as they are in practically every other sport (over 100 NCAA national titles, more than any other school by far) then they need to make the investments in their facilities that will attract not only a top-flight coach, but top-flight recruits as well.

  8. rlr79 says: Nov 28, 2011 11:20 PM

    Chris Peterson is a lot like Mark Few of college basketball. He loves the city he’s in, he’s making fairly good money and he doesn’t have the pressures of a big time program. That’s the key, if he doesn’t go to BcS bowls and NCs he will be replace in a big time program however by taking Boise State to BcS bowls he has become a hero in Idaho and if lord forbid he takes them to a NC he will be a Legend streets will be named after him, he will have his own statue in downtown Boise he will be a god there. He is not going to leave that.

  9. burntorangehorn says: Nov 28, 2011 11:25 PM

    Also, Sumlin seems like a good candidate, but he doesn’t really have any CA recruiting connections. You’d think that’d be important.

    You think they’d consider Ken Norton, Jr. for the job, or maybe for defensive coordinator? He’s an alumnus, developed tons of connections while coaching under Pete Carroll, and of course has all kinds of cred. Carnell Lake might be another good idea as a secondary and ST coach, or even DC. Bring back Donnie Edwards as a linebackers coach.

  10. addict2sport says: Nov 28, 2011 11:26 PM

    @dcroz: The Rose Bowl is located in Pasadena which is at least a solid hour away from Anaheim.

  11. leftcoastfan says: Nov 28, 2011 11:37 PM

    Rose Bowl in midst of a $152 million renovation funded by City of Pasadena and federal stimulus money. Not perfect but one of the great venues in America sports.

  12. linedrivehit says: Nov 28, 2011 11:58 PM

    How many times is Peterson going to turn down a chance to coach with the big boys? No way Peterson goes to UCLA (or any other big boy school). Right where he is he can beat up on high school teams every week… except the one game he loses every year because he cant even go undefeated with a lollypop schedule!!!

  13. burntorangehorn says: Nov 29, 2011 12:55 AM

    What’s a “lollypop schedule”?

  14. butteredsanta says: Nov 29, 2011 6:15 AM

    addict2sport says:
    Nov 28, 2011 11:26 PM
    @dcroz: The Rose Bowl is located in Pasadena which is at least a solid hour away from Anaheim.

    Amen brother….and that’s on a good day!

  15. dcroz says: Nov 29, 2011 7:58 AM

    Sorry, was tired last night. Don’t know why I said Anaheim. :)

  16. mondzy805 says: Nov 29, 2011 8:34 AM

    These cheap people at UCLA dont care about Football. They low ball their assistant coach and dont pay their Head Coaches. Their practice facilities are the worst in the Pac 12. Peterson would be Stupid to leave Boise for UCLA.

  17. fitz66 says: Nov 29, 2011 9:26 AM

    Dan Hawkins probably thinks he should stay.

  18. sfbaseball says: Nov 29, 2011 10:35 AM

    UCLA will hire Jim Tressel.

  19. ancientcougar says: Nov 29, 2011 11:06 AM

    Sumlin would be foolish to leave Houston. He inherited a program on the rise that sits squarely in the 4th largest city in the U.S. with a groundswell of support and new athletic facilities on the way as well as a BCS conference to join on the horizon. The Coogs could be in the top 10 for a long time and maybe even a national championship. Going to CA is a crapshoot. He could be gone there in 3 years with maybe an assistant coaches career for the rest.

  20. thekatman says: Nov 29, 2011 11:27 AM

    No matter who UCLA hires as its next Heach Coach, ar ethey going to throw away the Pistol Offfense now, after all the work they’ve put into it? Might as well hire the guy who created it. Either case, in order for UCLA to be successful, they have to hire a HC that has ties to SoCal, otherwise, USC will continue to be dominant in the recruiting arena…. and that’s a great thing.

  21. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Dec 1, 2011 7:58 PM

    Why don’t they just do what USC did both times and hire a loser NFL coach? It seems to be working for the Trojans, 2 National Championships and 6 BCS bowl wins later. Hell and I’m not even a USC fan either.

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