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NCAA Football Washington Huskies

5 Reasons Why Washington Huskies Lured Chris Petersen From Boise State

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How Washington Lured Chris Petersen from Boise State

chris petersen vs uw
Steven Bisig - USA TODAY Sports

For many years, every time there has been a job opening in a major conference, particularly in the Pac-12, Chris Petersen has found his name attached to it in some way. Each time, however, Petersen has quietly backed away from the jobs and remained content to lead the Boise State Broncos as one of the premier non-AQ powers in college football. Until now, of course, with Petersen set to take over the Washington Huskies in 2014.

The hire is a huge win for Washington. Petersen has put together an unquestionably impressive resume with Boise State, winning five conference titles and two BCS games with the Broncos while winning 89 percent (92-12) of his games over eight years. He has earned a reputation as a coach that can develop talent and get guys to the NFL even if they aren’t highly recruited out of high school and he can win big games. Considering the resources available in Boise, it makes his accomplishments there even more impressive.

It really is no surprise that Washington zeroed in on Petersen shortly after Steve Sarkisian bolted Seattle to return to the USC Trojans. He was previously a candidate for the UW job back in 2009 before the Huskies ultimately went with Sarkisian. Petersen has been the elusive hire that every big program on the west coast wanted to get but couldn’t make happen. But Washington AD Scott Woodward flew down to Boise and made it happen this time.

But the move leaves us with questions. If Petersen has turned down countless job offers over the years from just about every school with an opening, why leave now and why for UW? I’m glad you asked. Here are five reasons Washington was able to hire Petersen away from Boise State this time around.

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5. Timing Finally Right

chris petersen maaco bowl
Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

According to sources, Petersen felt ready to leave the Broncos this time because the timing was right for professional and family reasons. Sometimes, your job is going so well that you couldn’t dream of leaving it for any opportunity or your family is settled in so well that moving them would cause havoc. For Petersen, apparently, this was the perfect time to make a transition to a job that he called “the right fit” according to those same sources. It has felt like Petersen has been testing the waters more often and more seriously in recent years and is now finally ready to take the plunge with Washington.

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4. Boise State Possibly Peaked

chris petersen and derek carr
Cary Edmondson - USA TODAY Sports

When Petersen said the time was right professionally, he could have been insinuating that the Boise State program had gone as high as it was going to go under his watch. The Broncos have achieved so much in college football under Petersen and have raised the profile of non-AQ teams around the country. But as their 8-4 record in 2013 showed, the rest of the non-AQs have closed the gap on Boise State. At the end of the day, the Broncos are a small-budget program (especially compared to the BCS programs) that has been over-achieving. 2013 will be the first time since 2005 and the first time under Petersen that Boise State has finished with less than 10 wins in a season. Could Petersen be moving on before Boise State comes crashing back to the pack?

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3. Opportunity for New Challenges

chris petersen espn interview
Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

At Boise State, Petersen has done pretty much everything he’s going to be able to do. He’s won conference titles in two separate conferences, gone 2-0 in BCS bowl games, and finished a season ranked in the top 25 in six of his first seven years on the job. There isn't a lot left to accomplish at Boise State (that they will feasibly be able to get done). At Washington, Petersen will have the opportunity to take on a whole new set of challenges, competing with the best teams on the west coast for Pac-12 titles and having the opportunity to play for national titles if he gets the Huskies to the same level of success the Broncos have been at under his watch.

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2. Elite Facilities and Recruiting

husky stadium
Steven Bisig - USA TODAY Sports

Boise State, for all their accomplishments, is not on the same monetary level as the Washington Huskies. UW just finished renovating Husky Stadium (and christened it with a beatdown of Boise State this season), has top of the line football facilities and a recruiting budget on par with the best teams in the country. Money matters in modern college football and Washington has shown they are ready to spend to get the very best for the UW team and its coaches. Having that kind of backing will only help Petersen (an already elite recruiter) lure the best talent to Seattle, an area that is not difficult to sell to recruits.

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1. Loaded UW Roster Ready to Compete

shaq thompson and marcus peters
Cary Edmondson - USA TODAY Sports

The Washington job is just about as far from a “rebuilding job” as you can get. Before leaving, Sarkisian boasted that the 2013 roster was the most talent he had coached since coming to UW and he was not wrong. Much of that talent is poised to be back in 2014 making the Dawgs a dark-horse to break up the Pac-12 North dominance of the Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal. Of the five UW players named first or second team All-Pac-12, only punter Travis Coons is a senior. Many of the key contributors for Washington still have eligibility remaining (including several star freshmen and sophomores). With a team ready to make a run, how could Petersen say no?