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.