Boise State fans are no doubt heartbroken, but most knew this day would come. It seemed that it was only a matter of time before Petersen moved on. He had spent a total of 13 years with the Broncos. He was an assistant coach and offensive coordinator before becoming the head coach in 2006.
Petersen, who had coached his Broncos to a 92-12 record over the last eight seasons and two Fiesta Bowl wins, will be extremely difficult to replace.
Still, Boise State has a history of winning, and the last time the team lost four games and had a coaching change (2005), it was Petersen who stepped into that role the following season.
Now, it will have to be someone new.
There are several candidates to be the next Boise State coach, but there doesn't seem to be that guy within the group of coaches now that could step immediately up and continue the momentum from within. That continuity is what helped when coach Dan Hawkins left in 2005.
Assistant coach Bob Gregory has been named the coach for the bowl game, so perhaps he would be a candidate for the permanent job.
Other names that might surface are former Boise State head coaches Dan Hawkins and Dirk Koetter. Other former assistant coaches for the Broncos that might also get a look are former offensive coordinators Brent Pease and Bryan Harsin.
Of course, there are so many unknowns at this point, and a name not even in the mix could be involved as well. This time of year the coaching carousel is always fun to watch.
It will certainly be interesting to see which candidates make the short list, and you have to think whoever takes the job is going to have a hard time filling Chris Petersen's shoes.
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