Chris Petersen has signed a two-year contract extension with the University of Washington, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Washington extended Petersen through the 2020 season and will pay him $4.0 million per year for both ’19 and ’20.
The extension reaffirms Petersen’s commitment to Washington and will put to rest any speculation he’d jump to any of the high profile job openings this off-season.
Petersen is in his second year with the Huskies, where he’s 13–12 after taking over for Steve Sarkisian. Washington is 5–6 so far this season and plays No. 20 Washington State on Friday. A victory would secure bowl eligibility for the Huskies.
The contract extends Petersen back to five years remaining on his contract, which was the length of his initial deal. It signifies a mutual commitment in a relationship that’s viewed as an ideal fit. Petersen did not seek nor receive a raise, as the $4.0 million is the same amount he’s slated to make in 2018. Both sides simply agreed to stretch that amount out.
There are clear signs the Huskies are trending upward this season even if they don’t reach a bowl. Washington starts a true freshman, Jake Browning, at quarterback and ranks No. 15 in scoring defense despite losing three defensive players in the first 25 picks of the NFL draft and six of its starting front seven.
Washington’s roster appears primed for the future, as the Huskies list 52 freshmen (true and redshirt) and 24 sophomores. That means a talented and experienced young core that Petersen can build on for the next few seasons.
The youth has translated to an inconsistent season for Washington. The highlight came with Petersen’s signature victory of his tenure, a 17–12 upset of USC in the Coliseum on Oct. 8. Washington’s promise was also shown in authoritative league victories against Arizona (49–3) and Oregon State (52–7). But the Huskies have struggled against top teams like Stanford (31–14) and lost close games to Oregon (26–20) and Utah (34–23).
Petersen made his name in coaching at Boise State, where he led the Broncos to a 92–12 record in eight seasons. Boise State won the Fiesta Bowl twice during that time, including in 2007 when the Broncos won on a Statue of Liberty play in overtime against Oklahoma.
Petersen is a two-time winner of the Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year Award and entered this season with the highest winning percentage of any active coach in the FBS.