Chris Petersen of Boise State is a name that many of you will be hearing between now and December. The Bronco head man is highly regarded after leading Boise to a 28-3 record and a Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma.
He may just be the top guy on my list because I happen to think he is one of the best football coaches in the country and would fit in very well at Washington.
The 44 year old Petersen played quarterback at UC Davis from 1983-86. Chris began his coaching career in 1987 as the head freshman coach at UC Davis under coach Jim Sochor. In 1989 he became the receivers coach for the varsity, departing in 1992 to become the quarterbacks coach at Pittsburgh. He moved back west in 1993 to coach the quarterbacks at Portland State, and moved over to the Oregon in 1995 as the receivers coach. In 2002, he became the offensive coordinator at Boise State. He took over the program after Dan Hawkins moved on to Colorado.
Petersen would be a great candidate for any college coaching opening but he is very comfortable living in Boise. Most think that a move to either Washington or Oregon may be the only one's he would really consider since he and his family love living in the Pacific Northwest.
The last time UW had an opening Dan Hawkins was a name that was on most people's lists but he was never reportedly contacted by Todd Turner. You would hope that the Scott Woodward won't make that same type of mistake. Petersen would be an excellent choice as Washington's next head coach.
I am pretty sure the coaching hunt will start with Gary Pinkel of Missouri, but at age 56 I think he will stay in Columbia despite the fond memories of the time he spent in Seattle as a member of Don James staff.
The next guy one everyone's list would be future Seahawk coach Jim Mora. He may be on my list but I am not so sure he is on Woodwards list. Even if he is on UW's list prying him from the Seahawks is pretty unlikely.
With the top two logical candidates out of the way I would think Petersen who is from the Northwest and has existing recruiting networks built would be a great catch. I don't think Chris retires at Boise. Does he wait to see if the Oregon job opens up eventually or does he jump at the tremendous opportunity at Washington? Washington is a tremendous opportunity by the way. There are challenges, but they can be overcome pretty quickly with the right staff leading the program.
Do any of you think that Boise State has better talent on their roster than Washington does currently? Do any of you think that the 2006 Boise State team had more talent on the roister than Oklahoma
The answer to both of those questions is absolutely not!
What comes to mind when I think of Chris Petersen is the famous quote about legendary Alabama Coach Bear Bryant.
"He can take his'n and beat your'n, and he can take your'n and beat his'n."
Petersen in other words does a great job recruiting, developing talent, and coaching his team. He overachives and that was evident earlier this season when his team upended Oregon in Autzen Stadium.
I could see UW offering Petersen close to two million per year which would more than double his current salary. I think that could prove to be very tempting to a guy who wants to continue living in the Pacific Northwest. I would think that is Washington pursues him he would have to give the job serious consideration.