Reports: Boise State’s Petersen no longer a candidate at USC; Washington coach taking job

By Brian Murphy

Well, that was fast.

Boise State football coach Chris Petersen went from front-runner for the University of Southern California vacancy to non-candidate pretty quickly, according to national media reports.

Update: Washington’s Steve Sarkisian is taking the USC job, the school announced Monday afternoon.

Petersen is 92-12 in eight seasons as Boise State’s head coach. The Broncos (8-4) had won at least 10 games each season under Petersen before 2013. Boise State will find out its bowl destination and opponent this week.

Petersen has been at Boise State since 2001, first as offensive coordinator and then head coach. His name has been linked to vacancies across the country in that time, including UCLA, USC and Stanford.

Petersen’s contract at Boise State is extended by a year each time the Broncos win eight games. With the victory against New Mexico on Saturday, Petersen’s deal now runs through Jan. 31, 2019. Petersen is scheduled to be paid $2.098 million in 2014, plus a $250,000 annual payment for a licensing fee so the university can use his likeness.

Petersen’s buyout is $750,000.

Before Boise State’s game at BYU, I spoke with Boise State President Bob Kustra about keeping Petersen in Boise. “I let him know once again that our concern is always one of making sure he’s comfortable and we’re doing everything we can to keep him in place. I have enormous respect for what Chris has done. We’ll do everything we can, but ultimately it will be Chris who decides if he makes Boise State his final destination or takes up one of these many offers. We have such a great relationship with him. I know candor will be part of it. To date, I know he’s very pleased about the new football complex,” Kustra said.

Petersen discussed the future of the Boise State program after the regular-season finale against New Mexico on Saturday night.

Petersen: Year-by-year

2006: 13-0 (8-0 in WAC), beat Oklahoma in Fiesta Bowl
2007: 10-3 (7-1 in WAC), lost to East Carolina in Hawaii Bowl
2008: 12-1 (8-0 in WAC), lost to TCU in Poinsettia Bowl
2009: 14-0 (8-0 in WAC), beat TCU in Fiesta Bowl
2010: 12-1 (7-1 in WAC), beat Utah in Vegas Bowl
2011: 12-1 (6-1 in Mountain West), beat Arizona State in Vegas Bowl
2012: 11-2 (7-1 in Mountain West), beat Washington in Vegas Bowl
2013: 8-4 (6-2 in Mountain West)
Totals: 92-12 (57-6 in conference play), 5-2 in bowl games

Vs. individual teams

Sorted by wins, then winning percentage (in alphabetical order):

Fresno State 7-1
Nevada 7-1

Utah State 6-0
Wyoming 6-0

Idaho 5-0
Louisiana Tech 5-0
New Mexico State 5-0
San Jose State 5-0

Hawaii 5-1

Southern Miss 4-0

Colorado State 3-0
New Mexico 3-0

Air Force 2-0
Bowling Green 2-0
Miami (OH) 2-0
Oregon 2-0
Oregon State 2-0
Toledo 2-0
Tulsa 2-0
UNLV 2-0
Utah 2-0

Arizona State 1-0
Georgia 1-0
Idaho State 1-0
Oklahoma 1-0
Sacramento State 1-0
UC Davis 1-0
UT Martin 1-0
Virginia Tech 1-0
Weber State 1-0

BYU 1-1

San Diego State 1-2
TCU 1-2
Washington 1-2

East Carolina 0-1
Michigan State 0-1

Sports columnist Brian Murphy writes about all sports in the Treasure Valley with a concentration on Boise State football and men's basketball. Murph has been with the Statesman since 2005. You can follow him on Twitter @MurphsTurph.

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