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Washington officially announces hiring of Chris Petersen

Chris Petersen Era

And now it’s officially official.

Following up on reports that began surfacing Thursday night, Washington announced very late Friday morning that Chris Petersen has been hired as its new head football coach.  Petersen will replace Steve Sarkisian, who left earlier in the week for the same position at USC.

An introductory press conference will be held Monday.

“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,” UW 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.”

Boise State subsequently confirmed that Petersen will not coach in the Broncos’ bowl game.

Petersen’s move to the Pac-12 program ends a wildly successful run at Boise State.  Petersen spent the past 13 seasons with the Broncos, including the last eight as head coach.  During Petersen’s tenure, the Broncos went 92-12 and appeared in two BCS bowl games.  In the 16-year history of the BCS, Washington appeared in just one.

The Broncos won at least 10 games every season from 2006 to 2012 under Petersen, including unbeaten seasons in 2006 and 2008.  Oddly enough, Petersen’s move to the Huskies comes after Petersen posted what was easily his worst season in Boise at 8-4.

Petersen will reportedly become one of the highest-paid head coaches in the Pac-12, although contract details have yet to be released.  In 2013, USC’s Lane Kiffin ($2.59 million), Sarkisian ($2.57 million), Utah’s Kyle Whittingham ($2.43 million), Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre ($2.4 million), Cal’s Sonny Dykes ( $2.39 million), Arizona State’s Todd Graham and UCLA’s Jim Mora ($2.3 million) and Washington State’s Mike Leach ($2.25 million) all made more than $2 million.  Stanford’s David Shaw is also believed to be above that number, although the private institution is not compelled to reveal contract information, while Sarkisian, Mora and Leach are all in line for significant bumps in pay.

In his last season with the Broncos, Petersen made in excess of $2.1 million.

Interestingly, Boise State and Washington are scheduled to open the 2015 season.  There’s already talk that the Broncos could look to get out of the game, although there’s reportedly a $2 million buyout for that contest.

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37 Responses to “Washington officially announces hiring of Chris Petersen”
  1. mydixienormus says: Dec 6, 2013 12:00 PM


  2. asimonetti88 says: Dec 6, 2013 12:11 PM

    Very late Friday morning? It’s still 9 o’clock here on the West Coast! lol.

  3. pike573 says: Dec 6, 2013 12:12 PM

    That’s a major upgrade for UW

  4. ratsfoiledagain says: Dec 6, 2013 12:12 PM

    I wonder if this will change Wilcox’s mind about leaving for USC?

    Or is Wilcox upset enough of not getting a real shot at the HC job that he wants to leave?

    Here’s hoping he recruits in state far better than Sark.

    First stop after the presser and talking to the team, visit Budda Baker.

  5. florida727 says: Dec 6, 2013 12:22 PM

    I thought he’d be a Boise State lifer.
    It’ll be tough for them, but good for him.
    Always nice to see someone achieve what they’re after.

  6. jtinnon2009 says: Dec 6, 2013 12:29 PM


  7. gquesen says: Dec 6, 2013 12:29 PM

    As a Duck fan, I’m actually kinda shaking in my boats right now. And I’m not being sarcastic. I still remember the first game of the Chip Kelly era. The punch n’everything. It just seemed like Peterson had his team ready for anything. Thought he would have been a good replacement for Chip. Although I’m not totally in the dumps on Helfrich. Dude still got us to ten wins. Considering our dark past, that still is a positive.

  8. duwaynebaird says: Dec 6, 2013 12:41 PM

    It’s interesting that he withdrew from consideration for the USC job, but took the Washington job. I would love to know why.

  9. 32stork says: Dec 6, 2013 12:41 PM

    I’m a Ducks fan also, living in Seattle, and have to say Huskies finally got something right. After AD Woodward completely blew it by not hiring Kelly Graves away from Gonzaga for the women’s basketball position, hiring Sarkisian for mediocrity’s sake & allowing the men’s basketball coach to continue hanging around perpetuating mediocrity, Woodward finally got something right. Peterson is a superb coach & 92-12 says it all – against bigger schools and his own conference. This guy will never be mediocre like Sarkisian or the rest of them over there. Good hire, Huskies.

  10. rfmist8 says: Dec 6, 2013 12:42 PM

    …and the players have to sit out a year if they want to leave the promises he made to them. Go figure!

  11. canetic says: Dec 6, 2013 12:57 PM

    Purple field!

  12. trapshoot says: Dec 6, 2013 1:08 PM

    Good hire for Washington. Tough loss for Boise.

  13. dkhhuey says: Dec 6, 2013 1:13 PM

    Yikes – the spuds will be taking a big hit here! Peterson elevated BS to heights never before imagine there. It will be interesting to watch how quickly he can bring UW up to competitive levels!

  14. ratsfoiledagain says: Dec 6, 2013 1:14 PM

    canetic says:
    Dec 6, 2013 12:57 PM

    Purple field!


  15. raysfan1 says: Dec 6, 2013 1:27 PM

    I too thought Peterson was at Boise State forever. The only thing that keeps this one from being a complete shock is that he’s still in the Pacific Northwest, same recruiting relationships, etc. Still, this surprised me. Great hire by UW.

  16. footballislife01 says: Dec 6, 2013 1:29 PM

    Who is Stanford going to hire after Texas hires David Shaw as their new coach?

  17. monsterright says: Dec 6, 2013 1:33 PM

    It’s not often that a coach leaves for a “better” program and his replacement is an upgrade! Can’t wait to see how the Huskies respond next year! Hope they have USC on the schedule.

  18. Jew Bledsoe says: Dec 6, 2013 1:50 PM

    Awesome! Go dawgs!

  19. corvusrex96 says: Dec 6, 2013 2:36 PM

    Must not be for the money . 2.1 mil in Boise is about the same as 3 mil in Seattle , but man Seattle is a great part of the country

  20. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 6, 2013 3:02 PM

    corvusrex96 says: Dec 6, 2013 2:36 PM

    Must not be for the money . 2.1 mil in Boise is about the same as 3 mil in Seattle , but man Seattle is a great part of the country

    Weird to think that Sumlin at A&M got $2MM more a year than that….

  21. thefiesty1 says: Dec 6, 2013 3:32 PM

    Has Boise contacted Arkansas State? Harsin is ready to go back home.

  22. Deb says: Dec 6, 2013 4:03 PM

    It is a little sad that Peterson won’t finish his season at Boise–assuming they’re going to a bowl. That’s been a great run for him. Wonder how he’ll handle being with a school that plays on a green field :) Gosh, I hate that blue stuff!

  23. jdillydawg says: Dec 6, 2013 4:15 PM

    I’m not really a fan of either team, but this move makes me a Husky supporter all of sudden.

    I just hope the new Husky turf won’t be a deep purple.

  24. steelchampions says: Dec 6, 2013 4:49 PM

    It’s interesting how this worked out. A couple years ago I recall talk of BSU trying or being considered to join the PAC 12, but didn’t make the cut. If they had made the jump to the PAC 12 I think coach Pete is still a Bronco. At UW he has a better chance of playing for a National Championship than in the MWC.

  25. thesconnienation says: Dec 6, 2013 4:50 PM

    How I imagine the reaction of Boise State fans everywhere: “Oh no! We suck again!”

  26. dmvtransplant says: Dec 6, 2013 4:51 PM

    footballislife01 says:

    Who is Stanford going to hire after Texas hires David Shaw as their new coach?


    Ya right like Texas is ready for a non-white head football coach. Hell Charlie Strong is a better choice and that is still a pipe dream considering how much power the Longhorn boosters have.

  27. frug says: Dec 6, 2013 5:11 PM


    It’s interesting that he withdrew from consideration for the USC job, but took the Washington job. I would love to know why.

    The rumor is (and of course that is always a dangerous way to begin a sentence) that Peterson’s interview with USC didn’t go well, so Peterson withdrew his name so it wouldn’t look like he got passed over for the job.

  28. jdillydawg says: Dec 6, 2013 5:21 PM

    I think he took the Washington job because it was a better fit. He can go 8-3 next year and be a hero.

    Sark loses one game next year, he’s a goat.

    Also, Idaho and Wa are a lot more similar than Idaho and Ca.

    Whatever his reasons for turning one down and taking the other, I’m glad for all of them!

  29. gatorcheme says: Dec 6, 2013 5:32 PM

    ratsfoiledagain says:
    Dec 6, 2013 1:14 PM
    canetic says:
    Dec 6, 2013 12:57 PM

    Purple field!


    There’s nothing in the PAC-12 Conference rule book that specifies turf color.

    GO PURPLE! :)

  30. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 6, 2013 6:18 PM

    Completely shocked. I was wrong on this one. I understand that UW is lower pressure and in a better conference, but for the past few years he has been connected with tons of top openings. I wonder if he regretted passing on other jobs and decided his boat was about to sail.

    Btw the move from MWC to what was at the time the Big East I had heard he might not have been a fan of at the time. Then it became the American Athletic Conference and became irrelevant.

  31. jdillydawg says: Dec 6, 2013 6:26 PM

    I heard a report today that Oregon had been after him when Chip Kelly was leaving and he had expressed interest in the Washington job back then. I think he’s been wanting this one a while.

  32. cranespy says: Dec 6, 2013 6:33 PM

    Gold field with purple end zones and markings! This is his last stop……Washington will ascend to the ranks of the Big Time programs sooner rather than later….he will win multiple championships at UW and stay for 16-18 years!

  33. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 6, 2013 6:36 PM

    Oh and Harsin has a $1.75M buyout this year. Arkansas State is on its 4th coach in four years as Freeze and Malzahn left for Ole Miss and Auburn respectively and they didn’t want guys leaving easily. That price doesn’t kill it but might be prohibitive, and ASUs AD is probably sweating right now.

    Brent Pease is available…

  34. beastmode5150 says: Dec 6, 2013 7:11 PM

    USC wanted Peterson before sark, were there last friday, he turned them down. We are lucky. Go dawgs! Suck it sark.

  35. footballislife01 says: Dec 6, 2013 11:05 PM

    @dmvtransplant says: Ya right like Texas is ready for a non-white head football coach.


    Your response shows your ignorance. Texas is a very liberal school and A&M is not and look who is coaching at their school. To bring race into the statement is ignorant.

  36. txnative61 says: Dec 7, 2013 1:38 AM

    Major hire for Washington—–lots of others failed to lure him from Boise. He’s smart enough not to venture too far from his Northwest recruiting base. Love to see the Husky’s return to prominence like the Don James era.

  37. dmvtransplant says: Dec 8, 2013 3:48 PM

    @ footballislife01

    Texas is a liberal school, but their football program is run by ignorant white boosters that don’t want a black coach. If race wasn’t a factor Texas would have looked at more than just Saban for a coach, once again Charlie Strong is a better candidate than Shaw, but neither man will get even a call. Guess why?

    BTW A&M getting Sumlin was about the fact that he was a proven winner and Case Keenum’s numbers. The Aggies were willing to put the boosters aside to winner, Texas like USC never will.

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