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Chris Petersen to Step Down as Washington HC; Jimmy Lake Named as Replacement

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2019

Washington head coach Chris Petersen looks on from the sidelines during an NCAA college football game against Southern Cal Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Seattle. Washington won 28-14. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Chris Petersen announced Monday he will step down as head football coach for the Washington Huskies after six years with the program.

Defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake will take over as the team's next head coach after the bowl game. He is set to make $3 million annually on a five-year deal, per Steve Berkowitz of USA Today

"I'll be a Husky for life, but now is the right time for me to step away from my head coaching duties and recharge," Petersen said in a statement.

The 55-year-old will serve in a leadership advisory role within Washington's athletic department.

Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports provided insight on the coach's decision:

Pete Thamel @PeteThamel

Just spoke to a someone close to Chris Petersen on him stepping down: “There’s no illness or ulterior motive to his retirement. He just needs to re-charge.”

Petersen helped bring Washington back into national prominence after some up-and-down years during the previous decade.

The Huskies had a winning record in all six seasons, including the 2019 campaign (7-5), and had double-digit victories in three different years. No other coach in school history led the team to three straight 10-win seasons before Petersen from 2016-18.

In 2016, the squad won the Pac-12 title and earned a spot in the College Football Playoff semifinals before losing to Alabama in the Peach Bowl, ending No. 4 in the final Associated Press poll.

"Chris has been transformational for not only our football program but our entire athletic department," athletic director Jennifer Cohen said of Petersen.

His run at Washington came after eight successful seasons at Boise State, where he earned 92 wins and finished with two undefeated seasons (2006 and 2009). Petersen will step away with a 146-38 career record and a .793 win percentage that ranks 18th all-time.

Lake will take over the Huskies with no prior head coaching experience, but he has been working under Petersen since 2012, when the two were at Boise State, and helped lead the No. 5 scoring defense in college football in 2018.


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