Chris Petersen is leaving his post as head football coach at Boise State to accept the same position at Washington, according to ESPN. He replaces Steve Sarkisian, who left the Huskies to take over at USC.
Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman confirmed the news:
Have confirmed ESPN's reports that Chris Petersen is leaving Boise State for Washington. Our evolving story: http://t.co/J68YHj3zlp— Brian Murphy (@murphsturph) December 6, 2013
CBS' Jeremy Fowler added details:
Can confirm Petersen news - he's signing five-year deal. Should be one of highest-paid in P12— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) December 6, 2013
CBS' Bruce Feldman confirmed those details later, and provided more of his own:
Washington will name Boise State coach Chris Petersen as its next head football coach, multiple sources confirmed to CBS. According to Jeremy Fowler, Petersen is signing a five-year deal and Bruce Feldman has confirmed Petersen will be paid $3.6 million annually, making him the highest paid coach in the Pac-12.
Washington athletic director Scott Woodward made things official with a statement on the school's website:
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. 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.
ESPN's Brett McMurphy announced the details of Washington's press conference:
Washington announces Monday press conference to introduce new coach Chris Petersen— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 6, 2013
Idaho Statesman reporter Chad Crippe has more:
Petersen won't be talking to media until Monday presser in Seattle. Team still plans to practice Saturday-Sunday.— Bronco Beat (@IDS_BroncoBeat) December 6, 2013
Petersen not coaching the bowl game was a "mutual" decision.— Bronco Beat (@IDS_BroncoBeat) December 6, 2013
Petersen was also one of the names mentioned during the Trojans' coaching search, but Fowler reported the successful Boise State head man withdrew his name from consideration before USC made its final decision.
Instead, he's heading to the Pacific Northwest to take over a different Pac-12 program.
Scout.com's Brandon Huffman brings a recruit's perspective to the recent news:
Boise State QB commit -> RT @JG3_Era: WOW this what I wake up to— Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) December 6, 2013
Washington finished the regular season with an 8-4 record, including a 5-4 mark in conference play. The Huskies opened the season with a 38-6 romp over Petersen's Broncos, giving the coach a first-hand look at the talent on the roster and some of the players he'll get to work with moving forward.
The 49-year-old coach has risen to prominence in recent years by building on the foundation laid by Dirk Koetter and Dan Hawkins to create a nationally recognized football program at Boise State.
It's reached a point where the Broncos' 8-4 regular season can be considered a disappointment, which illustrates how far the program has come over the past decade. The four losses are the most since Petersen took over in 2006.
As always, the biggest question is how that success will translate to a bigger program with higher expectations. Petersen must build the Huskies into a team ready to contend for the Pac-12 title on an annual basis for the hire to become a long-term success.
Joe Schad of ESPN reported Petersen was ready for a new challenge and was just waiting for the right opportunity to come along. Washington was apparently the perfect fit for him and his family.
Chris Petersen is ready for a new challenge and views the professional and family timing and UW destination as the perfect next step— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) December 6, 2013
The move to Washington is certainly a fresh challenge, as Petersen can expect to face far more competition both on the field and on the recruiting trail in the Pac-12.
His success at Boise State suggests he'll find a way to help the Huskies reach the next level, but the pressure is now on to make sure that happens.