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Former football coach Chris Petersen named to leadership position in UW Foster School of Business

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Washington head coach Chris Petersen receives the Apple Cup from Ana Mari Cauce after Washington’s 31-13 win over Washington State at Husky Stadium on Nov. 29, 2019.

Despite leaving his position as head football coach last year, Chris Petersen will be staying at the UW, albeit in a vastly different role.

The coach who led the Huskies to two bowl victories in his six-year tenure at the UW was named the Edward V. Fritzky Endowed Chair in Leadership at the university’s Foster School of Business Thursday. 

“As the former UW Faculty Athletics Representative, I worked extensively with UW coaches. Chris was unique amongst them,” Frank Hodge, dean of the Foster School, said in a press release. “Normally when I met with coaches the conversation focused on their sport. My conversations with Chris were rarely about his sport. Instead, they focused on leadership principles.” 

The position, which runs for the 2020-2021 school year, was established in 2002 and “is designed to bring distinguished leaders to campus to share their expertise with faculty and students,” according to the announcement. 

“I have always been passionate about leadership, team building and human performance and am looking forward to facilitating a collaboration between business and sport leaders,” Petersen said. “This will be an amazing opportunity to invest in others as I continue to mentor, study and grow.”  

Previous individuals to hold the position include leadership from Starbucks, Safeway, and PACCAR Inc.

Petersen, who came to the UW in 2014 after a successful tenure at Boise State, coached the Huskies to a 55-26 record, including a 12-2 season in 2016 that notched the team a spot in the College Football Playoff where they eventually lost to top-ranked Alabama. He also led the team to two Pac-12 titles in 2016 and 2018.

In his first season at the helm, Petersen became the quickest active FBS coach to 100 wins, doing so in just 117 games. He also never lost an Apple Cup in his tenure, with the closest meeting being a 13-point victory during a snowstorm in Pullman in 2018.

He announced in December that he would be stepping away from the program due to stress and move on into an advisory role in the Athletic Department. Petersen’s final game as the coach was a 38-7 win over his former team, Boise State, in the Las Vegas Bowl. 

“It has been a privilege and a professional dream fulfilled to be part of this world-class institution,” Petersen said upon stepping down. “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.”

Reach News Editor Jake Goldstein-Street at Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet

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