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Rooting against UW’s Chris Petersen won’t be easy


By Jim Moore

The worst part about Chris Petersen? He’s too damn impressive.

I went to his introductory news conference Monday at Husky Stadium hoping to find flaws and faults with Washington’s new coach. But after watching him and listening to him and scouring the premises for dirt, I couldn’t find any.

It reminded me of the time that I went to Ferndale looking for dirt on Jake Locker. What a waste of day that was, just like Monday with Petersen.

New Washington coach Chris Petersen came off awfully impressive during his introductory press conference on Monday, even to a diehard Coug fan like Jim Moore. (AP)

He said all the right things, said he was honored and humbled to be there and did the good husband thing of thanking his wife before everyone else.

He wants to turn young men into real men. He wants great character kids, ones who are interested in getting world-class degrees. Those words aren’t empty – his players at Boise State had the second-best Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the country at .993, which means that almost every player is on track to graduate.

His record at Boise State was 92-12. I don’t care if they’re playing weak sisters on their blue field, that’s still pretty impressive. Keep in mind, Steve Sarkisian was 34-29 at Washington. The Broncos were 14-0 in 2009 and 13-0 in 2006.

Twenty Boise State players are in the NFL, including backup safety Jeron Johnson of the Seahawks.

So I was pretty much sickened by the whole thing, from his contract to his perfect white teeth.

As I write this post, I’m looking at a printout of his contract that will pay him $3.2 million this year and $4 million in 2018. He also gets two free cars, and for all I know, unlimited use of “Noah Sark”, the former coach’s boat.

If I’m being honest, I would say that 10 years from now, Husky fans will say this was the best hire since Don James arrived from Kent State in the 1970s.

As a Coug, I can only hope that Petersen will be like Dirk Koetter and Dan Hawkins, coaches who struggled after they left Boise State. Koetter was 40-34 at Arizona State, including 21-28 in Pac-10 play. Hawkins was most memorable for his “This ain’t intramurals!” rant at Colorado, where he went 19-39 after going 53-11 at Boise State.

“It was just time,” Chris Petersen said about leaving Boise State as he was introduced as the Huskies’ head football coach on Monday. Read the story

Audio: Petersen on “Bob and Groz”
Photos: UW introduces Petersen

But as was the case with Locker, it will be hard to root against Petersen, though I’ll find a way to do it anyway.

The biggest reason why it will be hard to root against him? He has a golden retriever. Anyone who has a golden retriever is OK by me. Actually, more than OK. And Sunny, his golden, is 10 years old, just like Willie.

“Sunny’s a lover, a sweetheart,” said Barbara Petersen, the new coach’s wife, providing the kind of insight you won’t get anywhere else. “(Chris) loves Sunny as much as we all do.”

With that, Barbara Petersen was whisked away by a stuffy Husky staffer, which doesn’t tell you much because they’re all stuffy, especially in the presence of a nosy Coug.

Am I bitter? Am I disappointed? Do I wish USC athletic director Pat Haden had stayed with Ed Orgeron instead of luring Sarkisian away from Washington? Yes, yes and yes.

Hate to say it – really hate to say it – but unlike Coach Sark, Petersen has the potential to rejuvenate Husky football.

The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website,, and You can reach Jim at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.