Washington coach Petersen stepping down

Field Level Media

December 02, 2019 at 7:50 pm.

Chris Petersen will step down as the Washington Huskies’ head coach after their bowl game and will be replaced by defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, the school announced Monday.

Petersen, 55, has guided Washington to a 7-5 record this season and a 54-26 mark in six seasons. He led the Huskies to Pac-12 championships in 2016 and 2018 and to the College Football Playoffs in 2016.

“It has been a privilege and a professional dream fulfilled to be part of this world-class institution,” Petersen said in a statement. “… I’ll be a Husky for life, but now is the right time for me to step away from my head coaching duties, and recharge.”

Petersen compiled a 92-12 record in eight seasons at Boise State (2006-13) before he came to Washington. His .793 career winning percentage (146-38) ranks second among active coaches with at least five years of FBS experience.

The Huskies wrapped up the 2019 regular season with a 31-13 win against rival Washington State last Friday.

“Chris has been transformational for not only our football program, but our entire athletic department,” athletic director Jennifer Cohen said. “It has been such a privilege to watch how he has been so committed to the development of our young men, not just on the field, but more importantly off. I can’t thank him enough for his service and leadership, and I look forward to having him stay on staff in a leadership advisory role, so he can continue to impact individuals across our department and the entire campus.”

Lake, 42, previously served on Washington’s coaching staff in 2004 before returning to the school with Petersen in 2014. He was named co-defensive coordinator in 2016 and elevated to defensive coordinator in 2018.

“I could not be more excited about taking over as head football coach at the University of Washington,” Lake said. “I’ve been dreaming of this opportunity for as long as I can remember and I can’t think of a better place to do it than in the world-class city of Seattle and at such a prestigious university with a rich football tradition. This wouldn’t be possible without the mentorship of Coach Petersen and I would like to thank him for everything he has done for me, as well as Jen Cohen for entrusting me with this opportunity.”