Chris Petersen is stepping down as the head coach of the Washington Huskies’ football program, the school announced this afternoon. Jimmy Lake, the team’s defensive coordinator, has been named the new head coach.
Petersen, 55, is one of the most-accomplished and most-successful head coaches in the country. He’s been at Washington since 2014. Petersen is 146–38 as a head coach.
The specific reasoning for Petersen’s departure is unclear. He says it feels like the right time and that he needs to recharge.
“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.”
Washington’s full announcement can be seen below:
Press Release: Petersen To Step Down, Lake Named New Huskies' Head Coach
— Washington Football (@UW_Football) December 2, 2019
Washington disappointed in 2019, going 7-5. The Huskies went 10-4 last season, their third straight 10-plus win season. Petersen led the program to the College Football Playoff in 2016.
“Chris has been transformational for not only our football program, but our entire athletic department,” UW Director of Athletics 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.”
Washington finished the regular season with a 31-13 win over Washington State.
Lake, 42, has been with the program since 2014. He previously coached with Petersen at Boise State.