Updated Oct 14, 2012 - 11:14 pm
University of Washington Huskies Blog
Saturday, December 7, 2013 @ 3:21pm
New Washington football coach Chris Petersen's track record is well-known. He's the architect of two undefeated seasons at Boise State, a two-time Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year Award winner, and a five-time conference champion (four times in the WAC, and once in the Mountain West).
New Washington football coach Chris Petersen was known for leading hyper-organized practices during an eight-season tenure as Boise State's head coach. (AP)
But what's been behind all of the 49-year-old Petersen's success?
According to ESPN college football analyst Ed Cunningham and ESPN Boise's Rick Worthington, it's his ability to keep a strong attention to detail without being a taskmaster that's allowed him to make the most of his Broncos teams.
"He's very good about being on the task and making sure that his players are improving," said Cunningham, a former Washington college football player, on 710 ESPN Seattle's "Wyman, Mike and Moore" on Friday. "And they're innovative in doing things to have fun. That's the other part that I think that will be really nice, that they have fun there. … From being around that program the last several years, it's really impressive."
Worthington, who joined 710 ESPN Seattle's "The John Clayton Show" on Saturday, said Petersen runs as tight a practice as any coach he's seen.
"I think it's attention to detail," Worthington said of what has accounted to Petersen's success. "One of the things you'll hear pro scouts say when they come to Boise State and watch a practice, and I'm sure this will be the case at Washington as well, is they'll say, 'I just saw an A-plus-plus practice.' Very, very close to detail, watching the seven or eight drills that are all going on at once. Everybody's running from space to space. There's no wasted time ever in a coach Pete practice.
"I think that's unique, but it's also very important, especially from the college sense, where you have to take advantage of every moment of practice time because you don't just get as much practice as you want in the NCAA. … That team is always very well coached-up for any game situation they go in because of the way they practice."
That doesn't mean Petersen isn't an approachable character, though.
"When you talk to him, he's a regular guy. He's very focused, but he's not so laser-focused he can't have a good time and be relaxed," Cunningham said.
Though it's been reported UCLA coach Jim Mora was the first choice to replace Steve Sarkisian after he left for USC on Monday, the Petersen hire is a coup for the Huskies, according to Worthington.
"Chris Petersen is a fine coach. You're very lucky at Washington, and I don't think you understand right now how lucky you are at Washington," he said. "Here's a guy who has taken two and three-star recruits and put them in the NFL. What can he do with four and five-star recruits on a regular basis? What can he do with guys that are already pro-caliber football players? You're very lucky at Washington.
"A lot of people here in Boise are upset, but I think once they back away from the ledge and look at the program, they still understand that it's a great program, (and) coach Petersen left it in much better shape than when he came in."
Additionally, Petersen's experience with recruiting in the region and maintaining consistency even through an ever-changing coaching staff at Boise State make him a big-time hire for Washington, Cunningham said.
"Here's a guy who knows the northwest -- he knows northwest recruiting," Cunningham said. "I've covered Chris and the staffs that he's had and the different guys that he's had to hire. Remember, they've lost a lot of assistants over the years, so he's managed very smoothly hiring guys and keep their identity."
Friday, December 6, 2013 @ 8:05am
By Brady Henderson
Washington has landed its man, luring Chris Petersen away from Boise State.
The university made the announcement Friday, ending a four-day search for a new coach and beginning a new era of Washington football.
"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," Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said in a press release.
"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."
The school will formally introduce Petersen in a press conference Monday.
In Petersen, 49, Washington landed the highest-profile coach of those believed to be on the school's list after Steve Sarkisian left on Monday for USC. Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and Huskies defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox were reportedly scheduled to interview for the job, while Jim Mora was rumored to be a candidate before agreeing to a six-year contract extension to remain at UCLA's head coach.
|• Joe Schad of ESPN.com||• Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN||• 710 ESPN's Brock Huard||• Rece Davis of ESPN|
In luring Petersen away from Boise State, Washington has done what numerous schools have tried and failed to do. Petersen's name was mentioned seemingly every time a prominent head-coaching job became available in recent seasons, yet he turned down opportunities at places like Stanford and UCLA to remain in Boise. Most recently, Petersen was a candidate at USC before reportedly withdrawing his name from consideration.
Details of Petersen's contract with UW were not released, but but Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com reports that it's worth $18 million over five years for an annual average of $3.6 million, making him the highest paid coach in the Pac-12.
Petersen, a native of Yuba City, Calif., was a record-setting quarterback at UC Davis before beginning his coaching career at his alma mater in 1987. He coached quarterbacks at Pittsburgh and Portland State then was Oregon's wide receivers coach before becoming the offensive coordinator at Boise State in 2001.
"I know Bronco Nation joins me in thanking Chris Petersen for all he did to advance Boise Sate's football program over the past thirteen years," Boise State president Bob Kustra said in a statement. "He is not only a great coach but a great person and an asset to the community. We were lucky to have him at Boise State and Washington is lucky to get him."
Three UW assistants following Sark
USC has hired three former Washington assistant coaches as Johnny Nansen (special teams, running backs), Keith Heyward (secondary) and Peter Sirmon (linebackers) will follow Sarkisian to Los Angeles.
According to reports, USC also wants to hire Justin Wilcox but may not be willing to pay all of the $1 million buyout that is part of his contract with UW. Wilcox, the Huskies' defensive coordinator the last two seasons, was reportedly in consideration to replace Sarkisian at UW before Petersen was hired.
• Petersen will not coach Boise State in the Broncos' upcoming bowl game.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Friday, December 6, 2013 @ 4:16am
The search for a new head coach didn't last long at the University of Washington: ESPN reports UW has found its man.
Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is expected to be named the new UW football coach on Friday.
ESPN's Joe Schad broke the news, saying that Petersen will become one of the highest paid head coaches in the Pac-12.
The 49-year-old Petersen has turned down the Oregon job, the Stanford job and the UCLA job in recent years while amassing a 92-and-12 record in Boise.
He has twice been named the national coach of the year, but more importantly he has a 2-and-0 record against Oregon, a team Washington hasn't beaten in a decade.
Washington found itself without a head coach Monday when Steve Sarkisian left after five years in Montlake to take the head coach position at USC. That leaves current Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox future in at UW in question, although Wilcox was Petersen's DC in Boise early in his career.
Thursday, December 5, 2013 @ 3:42pm
By Brady Henderson
Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, two names linked to the head-coaching vacancy at Washington, are reportedly interviewing for the job.
The school was scheduled to interview Nussmeier on Thursday and Petersen on Friday, according to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com. Adam Jude of The Seattle Times reported Wednesday that those two, according to a sources, are the front-runners to replace Steve Sarkisian, who on Monday was lured away from UW by USC.
Petersen, 49, is 92-12 with a 5-2 record in Bowl games during his eight seasons at Boise State. He was a candidate for the USC job before reportedly withdrawing his name from consideration.
"We are fully committed to Coach Petersen remaining at Boise State and, as always, intend to do everything in our power to support him as Boise State's football coach," school president Bob Kustra wrote Thursday in a statement.
Nussmeier, 42, was Washington's offensive coordinator from 2009-11 before taking the same job at Alabama, where he's spent the past two seasons.
Earlier Thursday, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel shot down rumors that he could be a candidate to return to Washington, where he was an assistant under Don James. Jim Mora, initially considered a leading candidate for the job, instead signed a contract extension on Tuesday that will keep him at UCLA.
UW was reportedly scheduled to interview defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, who initially appeared to be following Sarkisian to USC.
On Wednesday, the school named quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo the interim coach for the Huskies' upcoming bowl game.
Thursday, December 5, 2013 @ 10:11am
By Brady Henderson
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel has been linked to Washington's head-coaching vacancy given his ties to the program, but on Thursday he put to rest any speculation about a potential return to Montlake.
"I coached there for 12 years and Don James is my mentor and all those things," he said. "I'll be quite frank: I'm staying at University of Missouri. ... I'm a Missouri Tiger. I'm going to stay a Missouri Tiger."
Pinkel had two stints on Don James' staff during the most successful era of Washington football, first coaching tight ends and then wide receivers before becoming the Huskies' offensive coordinator. He became the head coach at Toledo in 1991 and has been at Missouri since 2001, posting a 90-61 record in 12 seasons with the Tigers.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 @ 4:19pm
Marques Tuiasosopo has been named Washington's interim head coach, while multiple sources tell 710 ESPN Seattle's Brock Huard that Boise State's Chris Petersen is among the candidates for the full-time job.
"I'm humbled and so honored," Tuiasosopo told the school's athletics website. "It's a great, incredible honor to lead my alma mater in a bowl game. We still have a lot to play for this season. I am excited to go out and get a ninth win."
The Huskies, who are 8-4 after winning the Apple Cup, will know by next week which bowl game they'll be playing in.
They hope to know soon as well who will replace coach Steve Sarkisian, who left Monday to take the same job at USC. Other candidates reportedly include defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
And then there's Petersen, whose name seems to come up every time a prominent head-coaching job becomes available. The website FootballScoop.com reported Tuesday that Petersen "is intrigued enough to listen" to Washington, which is significant given that he's remained at Boise State for eight seasons despite constantly drawing interest from what are considered to be more prestigious programs.
Petersen, who is 92-12 with a 5-2 record in Bowl games at Boise State, reportedly withdrew his name from consideration for USC's head-coaching vacancy before Sarkisian was hired.
Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News reported Wednesday that Washington was scheduled to interview Wilcox, who initially appeared to be following Sarkisian to USC. One of the holdups – according to Wolf and Adam Jude of The Seattle Times – is that USC may not be willing to pay the $1 million buyout in his contract with Washington.
Wilcox is in his second season at Washington, where he's turned around a defense that was among the worst in the conference under previous coordinator Nick Holt.
FootballScoop.com reported that Nussmeier is interested in the job. Nussmeier was Washington's offensive coordinator from 2009-2011 before taking the same job at Alabama.
• Two of Washington's assistant coaches, Johnny Nansen and Keith Heyward, will reportedly join Sarkisian at USC. Heyward is the Huskies' defensive backs coach, while Nansen is the assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and running backs coach.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 @ 2:00pm
By Brady Henderson
Scratch Jim Mora's name off the list of potential Husky head coaches.
"I want to thank (athletic director) Dan Guerrero and Chancellor Gene Block for their tremendous support," Mora said in the school's press release. "This further commitment the University has made is crucial as we continue in our pursuit of excellence. From day one our goal has been to win championships, and with our tremendous staff, our incredible student-athletes and our dedicated administration, UCLA will win championships.
"We've only just scratched the surface of our potential, and as a Bruin fan, I'd be chomping at the bit just to see what UCLA football is going to do next."
Mora was considered a leading candidate and perhaps even Washington's top choice to replace Sarkisian given his ties to the program and the area. He attended high school in Bellevue before walking on at Washington and then serving as a graduate assistant under coach Don James. He even once publicly described it as his dream job, saying during a 2006 radio interview that he would leave his job as the Falcons' coach if there was ever an opening at Washington. Mora apologized for those comments, saying they were only a joke.
Mora spent three seasons on the Seahawks' staff, including one as Seattle's head coach, and is in his second season at UCLA, which has won 18 games in that span and has a bowl game remaining.
"Jim Mora has established himself as one of the preeminent coaches in all of college football," Guerrero said in the press release. "Under his guidance, UCLA football has garnered national recognition for its success on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
"We are excited about the commitment Jim has made to our student-athletes and this University and feel this extension further demonstrates UCLA's commitment to building a championship-caliber football program."
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Monday, December 2, 2013 @ 1:58pm
By Brent Stecker
Steve Sarkisian has officially been announced as USC's new football coach after five years in charge of the University of Washington football program.
The hiring was announced by USC athletic director Pat Haden in a press release on USC's website Monday afternoon. Sarkisian and Haden will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday on the USC campus.
Steve Sarkisian has officially left Washington after five seasons to coach USC, where he was an assistant coach for seven seasons in the 2000s. (AP)
Sarkisian, who will not return to coach the Huskies in their upcoming bowl game to finish the 2013 season, showed appreciation to Washington for giving him a chance in 2009.
"First, I'd like to thank the University of Washington and athletic director Scott Woodward for the opportunity they gave me five years ago," Sarkisian said in the release. "I believe the Husky program is in a better place now than when we arrived, and I am proud and thankful of the players for that.
"That said, I am extremely excited to be coming home to USC and for the opportunity that USC presents to win championships. I can't wait to get started."
UW also released a statement Monday afternoon.
"On behalf of the University of Washington, I want to thank Steve Sarkisian for the past five years of service to our institution," Woodward said. "Steve has led the rebuilding of our program to new heights and we are in a much better position than when he arrived. I am happy for Steve and his family as they can return home and I wish them the best of luck in the future."
Woodward added that Washington is wasting no time finding a new head coach.
"The search for Steve's successor has already begun. I will work hard in the coming days to find the absolute best fit for the University of Washington but I will not comment on or speculate about the process. We have tremendous tradition, fan base and a world-class institution, and I am confident we will find the right man. We will compete for Pac-12 and national championships and we will do so with class, integrity, sportsmanship and a commitment to our student-athletes. That promise is at the forefront of my mind as I embark on finding our next football coach."
Sarkisian spent seven seasons as an assistant coach under Pete Carroll at USC in the 2000s, and is a native of nearby Torrance, Calif.
It is unknown whether Sarkisian will take his Washington coaching staff with him to USC. Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is believed to be a candidate to replace him as the Huskies head coach, but a report indicates he plans to follow Sarkisian to USC.
Woodward reportedly held a meeting Monday afternoon at Husky Stadium with the football team to address Sarkisian's departure. Quarterback Keith Price told reporters outside the stadium that Sarkisian said he is going to USC for family reasons, according to Chris Daniels of King 5 TV.
USC has been coached on an interim basis by Ed Orgeron since Lane Kiffin was fired Sept. 28 after a loss to Arizona State.
Orgeron will leave USC to pursue other coaching opportunities, the press release said.
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