Chris Petersen’s Return to College Football
Chris Petersen is returning to college football. No, the enigmatic coach will not be returning to the sideline, guiding another team to national prominence.
As reported last week here, Chris Petersen will be joining the Fox Sports Saturday College Football Show called 'The Big Noon Kickoff.'
It's hard to imagine the reserved Petersen giving analysis or 'hot takes' on national television. Coach Pete continues to be remembered as the most famous coach in Boise State Football history. He was not known at the time as someone who was overly friendly with the local press.
However, unlike his successor Bryan Harsin, Petersen's weekly radio show was made available. He did have fun with the 'Beat Pete' fun run that was a fundraiser for a charity. What other coach in college football would challenge the entire community to run faster than him? Winners would get a tee shirt with the phrase, 'I beat Pete.'
Petersen will join Fox and former Oklahoma Football Coach Bob Stoops, who replaced Urban Myer, who left the broadcast booth and became the head football coach of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. Fox has its hands full competing against ESPN's College Gameday program. Petersen's role has not been defined as of the publication of this article.
Petersen left Boise State with a 92-12 record for the University of Washington. He retired with an overall record of 147-38 in 2019. The Wall Street Journal, hardly Sports Illustrated, made this observation about Petersen in their two-time Bear Bryant Award Winner profile.
Petersen styled himself as a head coach who thought bigger than his win-loss record, installing a philosophy around his teams called "Built for Life" in which he sought to prepare his players for success beyond the gridiron. But it was still big-time college ball, where each W and L was significant. He is candid about the grind of his former job, where the on-field and off-field demands seemed to intensify with each passing season, and it was easy for work-life balance to become skewed.
Bruce Feldmen of the Athletic interviewed Coach Petersen this year in the Athletic. You can read the interview here.
College Football needs Chris Petersen. Perhaps he can be a champion of improving the sport from the broadcast booth. However, how many fans would love to see 'Coach Pete' return on the field?