Former Boise State football coach Chris Petersen spoke for the first time Monday about his decision to leave Boise for the University of Washington.
The crowd chanted Petersen’s name as a press conference got underway in Seattle. Petersen began by thanking Boise State, the Broncos, fans and everyone who’s helped him reach this point.
“People keep asking me ‘Why now? You’ve been in Boise for so long.’ Two things keep coming to mind: timing and fit,” Petersen explained.
He leaves Boise State after 13 years. He was head coach for eight. Rumors had swirled for years that Petersen would leave Boise State. On Friday, University of Washington officials announced they’d hired him as the next Huskies' head coach.
Petersen says as a coach and a teacher, he’s ready to take the next step to grow and that’s meant leaving his "comfort zone" in Boise. He also believes his decision to leave will be good for the Broncos.
“They will get a fabulous coach in there that will give them a new shot of energy," he said. "I feel good about that. I didn’t want to leave Boise if I thought it would be bad for them - if they would take a step backward.”
Petersen signed a five-year-contract with Washington that begins at $3.2 million. His salary will increase by $200,000 annually. The 49-year-old California native was set to make more than $2 million at Boise State next year.
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