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Coach Pete after football: Boise State & UW great takes steps to impact business

Former Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen remains a towering figure across the region. Even though the coach left Boise in 2013 after racking up a 92-12 record for the Broncos, as well as a Fiesta Bowl trophy, undefeated season and five league titles – he remains popular locally.

Beyond the field, Petersen gave back – with donations to the business school at Boise State, St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, and more. And even though Petersen and his wife Barbara moved on to the University of Washington, he even made a recent gift to the new Ronald McDonald House. The couple made a donation to support the new Family Support Wing.

He spends much of his downtime in McCall, where he owns a home. It’s from that home that he gave a round of interviews on his next step. Last fall, he announced he would step down from the head coaching job of the PAC-12 UW Huskies football team.

From head football coach – to adjunct professor and coach of a different sort. Petersen will serve as Fritzky Chair of Leadership at UW’s business school. He leaves behind the grinding life of a high-powered coach in a highly competitive field, to help coach business students on how to approach similar challenges they might face.

“I think there’s a lot of things that I’ve been through that I can help others not have to go down that path to learn that hard lesson,” Petersen told the Wall Street Journal. “That really gets me excited, probably much more now than thinking about me going to coaching and being on the sideline down the road.”

Petersen told the Seattle Times he and Barbara planned a long European vacation that went the way of so many plans in the COVID-19 era. Instead, time at that lake home in McCall.

“A pretty good place to just unwind in nature and water and all that good stuff,” he told the WSJ.

He said once classes return and campus life restarts, he doesn’t see standing up at the whiteboard lecturing. Instead, the coach will continue… to coach.

“I want to probably help guys and gals one-on-one, in kind of the mentorship-type role, at least moving forward here,” he told the Times. “I would tell recruits – I really believe Seattle is the business capital of the United States, at least in the years I’ve been here. So to get to know those people that are putting out these really good students, and the connections they have to the community – just to be part of that – is intriguing to me.”

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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