Chris Petersen leaving Boise State for Washington head coaching job

Chris Petersen
Chris Petersen takes over Washington’s football program after tallying a 92-12 record in eight seasons at Boise State.
(Matt Cilley / Associated Press)

After all the other schools that called over the years and were sent away, it was Washington that finally hooked Chris Petersen.

Petersen will be the Huskies’ football coach, making the decision to leave Boise State after eight seasons as the Broncos’ head coach.

Petersen was offered the job Thursday night during a meeting with Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward in Boise. After a night of sleep, Petersen called Friday morning to accept the position before meeting with his Boise State team.

He’s leaving after an unprecedented run of success at Boise State: five conference titles, 92 victories, two Fiesta Bowl wins and credit for putting the Broncos on a national stage for more than just its blue turf field and trick plays.


“Coach Petersen’s success and record are extraordinary, but even more impressive is the man himself,” Woodward said in a statement released by the school. “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.”

Petersen replaces Steve Sarkisian, who went 34-29 in five seasons at Washington before leaving earlier this week to take the job at USC. Petersen was 92-12 in his eight seasons at Boise State. But he’s coming off the worst regular season in his tenure with the Broncos after going 8-4, including a 38-6 loss at Washington in the season opener.

Bowling Green wins MAC championship

Matt Johnson threw four of his career-high five touchdown passes in the first half and Bowling Green routed No. 16 Northern Illinois, 47-27, on Friday night for the Mid-American Conference title, ending the Huskies’ shot at playing in a marquee bowl game.


The Northern Illinois (12-1) loss improves the chances of Baylor or Oregon being an at-large team in a Bowl Championship Series bowl game.

Jordan Lynch ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns for the Huskies to break his own single-season record for yards rushing by a quarterback in major college football, but he didn’t take advantage of an opportunity to impress Heisman Trophy voters.

The Falcons (10-3) won a MAC title for the first time since 1992 — just months after Johnson was born.

Lynch was 21 for 40 for 219 yards with a touchdown and two passes intercepted, including one in the fourth quarter that set up Johnson’s fifth touchdown that put Bowling Green up, 40-20.

Sarkisian announces assistant hirings

USC Coach Steve Sarkisian announced the hiring of Washington linebackers coach Peter Sirmon and confirmed the hiring of Huskies assistants Johnny Nansen, who has coached running backs, special teams and the defensive line, and Keith Heyward, who coaches defensive backs.

Sarkisian previously confirmed that receivers coach Tee Martin would be retained.

“I’m fired up to have Johnny, Keith and Peter join the staff, as well as keeping Tee on board,” Sarkisian said in a statement. “We’re on the right path in putting together one of the best coaching staffs in America.”


— Gary Klein


Auburn has given football Coach Gus Malzahn a new six-year contract worth $3.85 million annually. Athletic Director Jay Jacobs announced the first-year coach’s new deal Friday, the eve of the third-ranked Tigers’ game against No. 5 Missouri for the Southeastern Conference championship in Atlanta. Malzahn has led Auburn to an 11-1 season after taking over a team that won three games and lost all eight SEC contests in 2012.… Notre Dame plans to accept a bid to the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on Friday. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not become official, said Notre Dame officials have informed bowl organizers that the Fighting Irish will play in the Dec. 28 game in New York against a team from the American Athletic Conference. …Tennessee offensive tackle Antonio “Tiny” Richardson is bypassing his senior season to enter the NFL draft. …Montana State senior Brad Daly is one of six finalists for the 2013 Hendricks Award, which goes to the top defensive end in NCAA football. Daly leads all of NCAA Division I football with 14 sacks and his 20.5 tackles for loss this season is tied for the most in the FCS. He also has 68 tackles, an interception and two blocked kicks.

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