The University of Washington is reportedly in negotiations to keep football coach Chris Petersen at the school for another decade.
Citing sources, The Seattle Times reported Thursday that UW and Petersen are in the process of negotiating a potential 10-year contract extension, one that would make Petersen the highest-paid coach in the Pac-12.
Petersen is in the third year of a deal that runs through the 2020 season — he signed a two-year extension on Thanksgiving last year — and eventually will pay him $4 million per year. He is scheduled to earn $3.6 million this year before bonuses.
Petersen, 52, has a 24-12 record in his third season at Washington after going 92-12 in eight years at Boise State. At 9-0 this season, the Huskies are off to their best start since 1992.
There might not be a bigger Petersen fan at UW than athletic director Jennifer Cohen, who was one of two people — former athletic director Scott Woodward was the other — who traveled to Boise in December 2013 in an attempt to lure Petersen to UW.
Petersen had conversations earlier that year with USC, which was seeking a replacement for fired coach Lane Kiffin, but neither party believed it to be the right fit. USC eventually hired former UW coach Steve Sarkisian, and UW signed Petersen to a five-year, $18 million deal three days later.
Cohen and Petersen have since developed a strong relationship, and Petersen was among Cohen’s biggest supporters when she interviewed for UW’s athletic director position following Woodward’s departure in January.
“I was as excited as anybody when she got the job here,” Petersen said last week. “She’s really good at what she does, and cares about the student-athletes and this program and the coaches.”
TEDFORD TO FRESNO
After weeks of speculation, it was made it official on Thursday: Jeff Tedford, the former California head coach who spent this season as an offensive consultant for the Huskies, will be the next head coach at Fresno State.
Tedford, 55, played quarterback at Fresno State and was an assistant there from 1992 to 1997. He later won 82 games in 11 seasons (2002-2012) as Cal’s head coach, and joined UW’s staff this year as a consultant with a $50,000 salary.
“Jeff Tedford is a terrific coach and has been great for us and our staff,” Petersen said in a statement. “There’s no doubt he’ll get Fresno State back to playing at a high level.”
A UW spokesperson said Tedford, who travels with the team and sits in the coaches’ box, will be in attendance for Saturday’s game against USC at Husky Stadium, but likely not for any games the rest of the season.
Fresno State (1-9) fired former coach Tim DeRuyter on Oct. 23 and promoted offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau, a former UW assistant, to interim coach. Since beginning the 2013 season with 10 consecutive victories, the Bulldogs have won 11 of 39 games.
Petersen speaks highly of Tedford, a former colleague on Oregon’s staff in the 1990s. During Tedford’s time as a consultant with UW, the Huskies have built one of the nation’s most productive, efficient offenses, currently ranked second nationally in scoring (48.3 points per game) and third in yards per play.
“He’s awesome. He really is,” Petersen said of Tedford in early October. “He’s been great for me, like I said, as the head coach. I knew that was going to be. We can have conversations that’s hard for anybody else and me to have, just because of where he’s been. … He’s an adviser to us, and he does it the right way.”