Chris Petersen will step down as Washington’s head coach and Jimmy Lake has been named as his replacement, the Huskies announced Monday.
“It has been a privilege and a professional dream fulfilled to be part of this world-class institution,” Petersen said in a statement. “I will forever be grateful, honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to coach our fine young men on Montlake for these past six seasons. I thank each of them, as well as our coaches and administrative staff for the incredible commitment they’ve made to Husky football during my tenure. The football program and Husky Athletics across the board will continue to prosper – and do it the right way – with Jen Cohen’s leadership and the University administration’s commitment to excellence. 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.”
With one game still pending, Petersen will leave Washington at 54-26. He led the Huskies to the Pac-12 Championship in 2016 — the program’s first since 2001 — and 2018, and to a Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2017.
When adding his considerable success at Boise State, Petersen steps away with a 146-38 record and seven conference championships in 14 seasons.
Lake, an Eastern Washington graduate, has been a member of Petersen’s staffs dating back to Boise State in 2012. He has run Washington’s defense for the past two seasons.”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.”
Stever Berkowitz shares that Lake would owe $6 million if he terminates deal without cause through the end of January 2021, and that amount drops annually to $3 million, then $1.5 million, and then $500k. Lake would also get an automatic 1-year extension in the event that athletic director Jennifer Cohen were to no longer be the AD and if Lake’s role had not previously been extended beyond original expiration date of January 31, 2025, Berkowtiz adds.
It is important to note that Petersen, 55, said he will “recharge” and did not use the word “retire.” So let the speculation as to whether one of college football’s most successful coaches will return.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.