'Coach Pete' steps down as Washington football coach

Published: Dec. 2, 2019 at 4:52 PM MST
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Washington coach Chris Petersen says he is stepping down following six seasons at the school, with defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake promoted to over the program.

Petersen’s decision was shocking coming off a season where the Huskies went 7-5 in the regular season and are bound for a sixth straight bowl game under his leadership.

The school said Petersen, 55, will transition into a “leadership advisory role” within the athletic department. Petersen was 146-38 combined during his time as the head coach at Boise State and Washington. In a statement, Petersen says he’ll be a “Husky for life, but now is the right time for me to step away from my head coaching duties, and recharge.”

His career winning percentage of .793 ranks second among active coaches with at least five years of FBS experience.

Petersen led the Huskies to two PAC-12 championships, the 2016 College Football Playoffs, and three consecutive New Years Six bowl games.

The Huskies won 39 games from 2015 through 2018 – most ever by the UW in a four-year stretch. If the Huskies win their bowl game this year, it will be the program's 40th victory over the four seasons from 2016 to 2019, setting a new record.

Lake, 42, has turned down several other coaching opportunities in recent years and has seemed to be the successor to Petersen whenever he did decide to step away from coaching.

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