Chris Petersen will trade blue for purple when introduced as head
coach of the Washington Huskies on Monday. Photo: USA Today
After receiving interviews and overtures from other schools over the last few years, it took an opportunity in the Pacific Northwest to lure Chris Petersen away from the blue turf of Broncos Stadium.
The Washington Huskies announced that Chris Petersen had accepted the job offer to be their next coach on Friday. A formal press conference will be held on Monday.
Petersen will replace Steve Sarkisian, who departed Washington on Monday to become head coach at USC, replacing interim coach Ed Orgeron.
Petersen was considered a leading candidate for the USC job, but removed his name from consideration for that position.
Washington will be getting a head coach who has amassed some impressive credentials at Boise State. Petersen leaves the Broncos program with a 92-12 record since he assumed control in 2006. That includes five conference titles (four in the WAC, one in the Mountain West), two undefeated seasons (2006, 2009) and a 5-2 bowl record. Among those five bowl wins are two wins in the Fiesta Bowl (following the 2006 and 2009 seasons).
The Broncos did struggle a bit this season, though, finishing second in the Mountain Division of the MWC. This season is the first one in which the Broncos will not reach double digits in victories since Petersen took over, and is also the first season under his leadership in which they lost more than one conference game.
Ironically, the 8-4 mark this season, the lowest mark in Petersen's career, is identical to the mark that the Huskies had under Steve Sarkisian this season. That 8-4 record for the Huskies is the best record the program has seen since going 8-4 in 2001 under Rick Neuheisel.
Petersen has proven to be a capable coach in two different leagues, and he has spent nearly 20 yearsof his career in the Pacific Northwest. But if he is to prove how good a coach he is, and if he is going to demonstrate that he is an upgrade over Steve Sarkisian, he will have his work cut out for him in a very deep Pac-12.