Sep 20, 2012; Boise, ID, USA; Boise State Broncos head coach Chris Petersen speaks with ESPN reporter Samantha Steele after the game against the BYU Cougars at Bronco Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Huskies Football: Three reasons why Chris Petersen will be an upgrade as Head Coach


With any coaching change there is always a reason for concern about how the team is going to perform on the field. For the University of Washington football program and its fans there three key reasons why Chris Petersen will be an upgrade  over Steve Sarkisian.

Reason #1 The focus on in-state recruiting by the Petersen staff will be much stronger than the Sarkisian regime

Within a short amount of time after being hired this new staff found a way to land two top prospects in the state of Washington in defensive back Budda Baker and offensive lineman Kaleb McGary in the first recruiting class.

One of the problems under Sarkisian was the perceived lack of focus on keeping top Washington players at home. For the most part except for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kasen Williams, and Bishop Sankey the previous staff did not do a good enough job at all of keeping top players at home.

Reason #2 The focus will kept on the football field versus appeasing the local Seattle media

The thing that always appealed to me about Don James back in the day was his ability to keep the focus on football. Fast forward to now with Chris Petersen and you are going to see the same focus on football. Petersen has been fine when he has met with the media in Seattle.

The end goal is to win football games which is what Petersen is one of the best in the business at doing. While Sarkisian was way too focused on winning the press conference and appeasing the Seattle media.

Reason #3 This team will be much more resilient after tough losses

After the loss to Stanford last season it took the Huskies way too long to snap out of the funk they went into after that particular loss. There will be adverse situations for Chris Petersen and his staff to deal with this season with rebounding from a loss.

What is going to separate Petersen from Sarkisian is the overall ability of his staff to keep the players on point and prepared on a weekly basis to be at their best.

Tags: Football Washington Huskies

  • Ben Factor

    Scott, I know that the general consensus is that Peterson is an upgrade. He certainly took a much lesser program very far. I’m pretty sure you know that, for Peterson, it will be a lot different playing against top coaches and players week in and week out, rather than twice a year.

    So far as recruiting, I think Sark made up for his deficiencies in Washington with successes in California. Not to say that Peterson won’t be just as successful in California, and more successful in Washington. Washington just doesn’t have the population to produce all the needed talent. On the other hand, Seattle is a good location, Washington is a highly regarded university, so why shouldn’t it succeed out of state, too?

    Washington is not in the easiest position in the Pac-12. Oregon has more football tradition in some important ways. I think that the departure of Kelly has to be seen as a big plus for Washington. The emergence of Stanford has raised the bar further. I refer to Cal as a sleeping giant, because it’s the second best university in the conference, after Stanford, and in a very appealing location. Whether it follows Stanford upward in football remains to be seen.

    I live in So. Cal., so I certainly hope that Sark is more than a media pleaser. I have to agree with you that he has yet to show greatness. However, I think it’s fair to say that, on most weeks, his USC team will have more talent than its opponent. He may fare better in those circumstances.

    We shall see about both of them–Peterson and Sark.

    • Scott Whittum

      You nailed it Ben, on the population being a difference maker between Washington and California. I will go one step further I think it has hurt that no one has truly been able to push Bellevue High School for example. I think if even just a few schools could make a run at Bellevue then the talent depth in the state of Washington will only get better. Great response very well written!!