Chris Petersen
Chris  Petersen

Yuba City, Calif.

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
UC Davis (1988)


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Weekly Interviews with Coach Petersen

Weekly Interviews with Coach Petersen


Weekly Interviews with Coach Petersen

Weekly Interviews with Coach Petersen


Weekly Interviews with Coach Petersen

Weekly Interviews with Coach Petersen


Boise State vs. New Mexico

Boise State football vs. New Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013


Boise State vs. Colorado State

USA Today Sports Images


Nevada @ Boise State

Nevada @ Boise State

Success has come at extraordinary levels for Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen during his seven years guiding the program. Petersen is the winningest active coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, boasting an 84-8 record (.913) since taking over as head coach of the Broncos in 2006.

The Broncos have won 10-or-more games in each of his seven seasons, the longest active streak in the country. Included were 12-or-more wins in four-consecutive years (2008-11), the only school to accomplish the feat since 1900.

The Broncos have won five conference championships under "Coach Pete" - four in the Western Athletic Conference (2006, 2008-10), and one in the Mountain West (2012). In conference games, Petersen's two-year record in the Mountain West is 13-2 (.867). The Broncos went 38-2 (.950) in the WAC during his first five years as head coach at Boise State.

Boise State has been to a postseason bowl game in each year under Petersen (5-2), and boasts a streak of four-straight bowl victories. The Broncos won the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl following the 2006 and 2009 seasons, and the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Each Tostitos Fiesta Bowl victory capped undefeated seasons for the Broncos, who went 13-0 in 2006 and 14-0 in 2009. Petersen was named Paul "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year following each season, the only head coach to win the award multiple times.

Following the 2010 season, Petersen was unanimously selected as the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year, awarded annually to a coach who represents the highest ideals both on and off the field.

In addition to winning the Bear Bryant Award in 2006, Petersen was a finalist for the 2006 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, a semifinalist for the George Munger Coach of the Year Award and was named the Region 4 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. He was a finalist for the Liberty Mutual and Eddie Robinson Awards in 2008, and for the Joseph V. Paterno Award in 2010.

He was also named WAC Coach of the Year in both 2008 and 2009.

The ninth head coach in the 40-plus-year history of Boise State's football participation at the four-year level, Petersen guided the Broncos to two of the finest seasons in school history in 2006 and 2009, posting undefeated records of 13-0 and 14-0, respectively.

The 2006 season was Petersen's first as head coach, and he is the only coach since 1900 to win 13 games in his debut season with an FBS team. The undefeated season was the first at the school since 1958 - when the school was still a junior college. The season also marked Boise State's first BCS bowl berth and a fifth-straight WAC title.

The first Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has been described as one of the greatest collegiate games of all-time as Boise State defeated the University of Oklahoma, 43-42 in overtime. Three years later Boise State became the only non-BCS school to win two BCS games with a 17-10 win over TCU.

In 2010, the Broncos compiled a 12-1 record, earned a 26-3 victory over Utah in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and captured a share of the WAC title for the eighth time in 10 seasons in the league. The Broncos began the season ranked No. 5 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' Polls, and ultimately reached No. 2 in each - the highest ranking in school history. Boise State also reached its highest ranking in the BCS standings at No. 3.

Petersen's teams excel in the classroom at the same high levels achieved on the field. In 2011 Boise State was the only school to finish in the top 10 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll (No. 6) and the Associated Press Poll (No. 8), and also receive a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA for finishing in the top-10 percent of the Academic Progress Rate.

The Public Recognition Award was the second of three-straight such honors for Boise State from 2010-12.

The Broncos tied for the second-highest APR in the country in 2011 (989), and posted the second-highest APR in the country in 2012 (993). In 2010 Petersen was recognized for having the best APR average for the two previous reporting years amongst FBS head coaches.

During the 2012 fall semester, the Bronco football team improved its cumulative grade-point-average to a then-school-record 2.98, with 60 student-athletes posting a semester or cumulative GPA of 3.00-or-higher. In spring of 2013, the squad combined for a GPA 3.00, breaking the record once more.

Under Petersen the Broncos have become a consistent presence in the national rankings. Boise State was ranked No. 19 in the year's final Bowl Championship Series standings, the only school to be ranked in the final poll the past seven years - all under the direction of Petersen. Five of those years the Broncos were ranked among the top 10 (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011) in the final BCS standings. Boise State ended the 2012 season ranked No. 14 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 18 in the Associated Press Poll.

Considered one of the most innovative offensive minds in the collegiate coaching ranks, Petersen and his staff have guided an offense that ranks amongst the nation's best year-in and year-out.

In 2011 - the team's first as a member of the Mountain West - the Broncos completed the season ranked fifth-nationally in scoring offense (44.23) and ninth-nationally in total offense (481.31). In addition to leading the country in sacks allowed (0.62), Boise State also ranked fourth-nationally in passing efficiency (171.57) and 11th-nationally in passing offense (309.38).

Defense was the strength of the 2012 team as the Bronco defense ranked among the top-10 nationally in four major categories: fifth in pass efficiency defense (101.35 rating), fifth in pass defense (169.45 ypg), seventh in red zone efficiency (0.68) and eighth in scoring defense (15.77 ppg).

Individual success is something Boise State has grown accustomed to under Petersen's guidance, as he has helped develop a number of players to elite levels. Of the Broncos' 18 NFL Draft selections since Petersen debuted as head coach, four have been selected in the first round. Offensive tackle Ryan Clady became the first Bronco to be selected in the first round, going No. 12 overall to the Denver Broncos in 2008. Since then, Kyle Wilson was selected No. 29 overall by the New York Jets in 2010, and Shea McClellin and Doug Martin became the first pair of Broncos to be selected in the first round in the same year, going No. 19 (Chicago Bears) and No. 31 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), respectively, in 2012.

Boise State had a school-record six players selected in 2012: McClellin, Martin, third-round selection Tyrone Crawford (Dallas Cowboys), fifth-round selection George Iloka (Cincinnati Bengals), sixth-round selection Billy Winn (Cleveland Browns) and seventh-round selection Nate Potter (Arizona Cardinals).

Most recently, Jamar Taylor was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2013 draft (No. 54 overall), becoming the second-highest cornerback drafted in school history.

Martin and Clady were each named to the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season, making Boise State one of only 24 schools to place multiple players on the all-star roster.

As Boise State's offensive coordinator and then as its head coach, Petersen was instrumental in the development of quarterbacks Ryan Dinwiddie, Jared Zabransky and Kellen Moore, who are among the most successful collegiate signal callers in the past decade.

Moore, who set the NCAA record with 50-career wins, won three conference offensive player of the year awards and became the first player in NCAA history to record four seasons with both 3,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards of total offense.

Moore rewrote the Boise State record books, claiming the school's career records for total offense, passing yards, attempts, completions, passing touchdowns, 200-yard passing games and 300-yard passing games. His career passing touchdowns (142) are the second-most in NCAA history and his career passing yardage (14,667) ranks fifth all-time.

Moore received unprecedented individual recognition during his four-year starting career, becoming the first Heisman Trophy finalist in school history following his junior campaign. He was also a two-time finalist for both the Maxwell and Davey O'Brien Awards, a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and was a two-time recipient of the Touchdown Club of Columbus' Top Quarterback Award, which was ultimately named in his honor.

Twice Moore led the nation in passing efficiency, and in 2009 his interception-to-pass attempt ratio (0.69 percent; 3-of-431) broke the NCAA record for a single season.

Dinwiddie, who guided the Bronco offense from 2001-03, finished as the NCAA's career passing efficiency leader with a rating of 168.19. With Petersen as his quarterback coach, as well as the team's offensive coordinator, Dinwiddie led the Broncos to a 28-6 record as a starter.

After Dinwiddie left, Petersen helped groom Zabransky into one of the nation's most successful quarterbacks from 2004-06. Zabransky led Boise State to three-straight league titles, two undefeated regular seasons and a 32-5 record in his three years as a starter - including a 23-1 record in WAC games.

In Petersen's seven years as head coach, 47 players have earned first-team all-conference honors and 26 others have been named second-team all-conference. Several have also earned All-America accolades, including Clady and Potter, who were each consensus All-Americans. In 2006, Petersen's first season as head coach, Clady earned second-team All-America recognition from, while Ian Johnson (first-team and CBS Sportline; second-team Sporting News; and third-team Associated Press) and linebacker Korey Hall (second-team Sporting News) also earned All-America honors that year.

In 2009 two of Petersen's players earned All-America honors. Moore was named first-team All-America by, and, and Wilson earned second-team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the Associated Press. Moore was also named All-America by the Football Writers Association of America in 2010, and was an honorable mention All-American in 2011 (

Potter, a consensus All-American following the 2011 season, was also Boise State's first Academic All-America First Team selection since 1978.

In his five seasons as offensive coordinator, Petersen had two players earn All-America honors - running back Brock Forsey in 2002 and offensive tackle Daryn Colledge in 2004. He also helped 12 Broncos earn first-team All-WAC honors, while two (Forsey in 2002 and Dinwiddie in 2003) were named WAC Offensive Player of the Year.

Prior to taking over the top coaching position at Boise State in 2006, Petersen was offensive coordinator for the Broncos from 2001-05. During that time the Boise State offense featured one of the most potent attacks in the country, averaging 41.3 points per game while also finishing as the nation's top scoring team twice (2002 and 2003). The Broncos also finished second (2004) and eighth (2005) in the nation in scoring while Petersen was running the Broncos' offense. During Petersen's five seasons as offensive coordinator, Boise State finished in the top 10 in total offense three times - first in 2002, fourth in 2004 and seventh in 2003.

As Boise State's offensive coordinator, he was twice (2002 and 2004) a finalist for the Broyles Award, which honors the nation's top assistant football coach.

Prior to joining the Boise State staff under former head coach Dan Hawkins, Petersen worked at Oregon as wide receivers coach. He joined the Ducks' staff in 1995 and immediately helped contribute to a passing attack that ranked among the nation's elite each of the six seasons he was an assistant. Twice during Petersen's tenure at Oregon, the Duck offense broke the school record for single-season passing yards, and three times in the same time period the team broke the single-season school record for most touchdowns.

Prior to working at Oregon, Petersen served as the quarterbacks coach at Portland State from 1993-94, helping the Vikings advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs both seasons.

In 1992 Petersen was the quarterbacks coach at Pittsburgh. That season the Panthers established a school record for passing yards and ranked eighth-nationally in total offense and passing. Additionally, he contributed to the development of first-team All-Big East Conference quarterback Alex Van Pelt, who eclipsed the school's passing yardage totals previously held by Dan Marino.

Petersen's success as a coach can be linked to his record-setting career as a quarterback at the University of California, Davis. As a senior with the Aggies, he was named the Northern California Athletic Conference Player of the Year and was the top-rated Division II quarterback in the nation. Petersen received second-team Kodak Division II All-America honors and still holds the Division II record for career pass completion percentage (69.6 percent). Petersen was inducted into the UC Davis Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 2011 Petersen earned the inaugural Legacy Award from UC Davis which honors past Aggie student-athletes for achievements made subsequent to their departure from the UC Davis campus.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in psychology from UC Davis in 1988, Petersen started his coaching career at his alma mater, serving as UC Davis' head freshman coach in 1987-88 and the receivers coach from 1989-91. Petersen holds a master's degree in educational psychology from UC Davis. He and his wife Barbara are the parents of two sons, Jack and Sam.

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