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UCLA targets Boise State’s Chris Petersen to be next football coach

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Boise State’s Chris Petersen will be the first coach UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero will approach about the Bruins’ football job, according to influential people with knowledge of the situation who are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Guerrero, who on Monday announced the firing of Rick Neuheisel, is expected to make a trip to Boise to meet with Petersen. UCLA is believed to be able to offer a contract worth more than $3 million annually that includes donations from boosters.

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Plans to refurbish the Bruins’ practice facility and a commitment of about $2 million for assistant coaches are expected to be part of the package, accord to one person close to the situation.

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Petersen has long been at the top of the list for job openings at schools in Bowl Championship Series conferences. He reportedly turned down a $3-million offer from Stanford a year ago.

Boise State officials reworked Petersen’s contract this season, giving him a five-year deal worth $8 million, according to the Idaho Statesman. He made $1.5 million this season and is scheduled to receive a $100,000 raise every year through 2019.

UCLA also has Houston’s Kevin Sumlin and former NFL coach Jon Gruden on its short list of potential candidates. Sumlin is also believed to be a candidate at Arizona State.

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-- Chris Foster


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