Chris Petersen leaving Boise State for Washington

Chris Petersen was 92-12 at Boise State.
  • Chris Petersen will replace Steve Sarkisian at Washington
  • Petersen was 92-12 in his eight seasons at Boise State
  • The Broncos are coming off an 8-4 season%2C including a 38-6 loss to the Huskies

Chris Petersen has left Boise State to take the head coaching job at Washington.

The school made an announcement on its website Friday.

ESPN first reported the move, citing sources.

Petersen, 49, will replace Steve Sarkisian, who left this week to take the job at Southern California. Sarkisian went 34-29 in five seasons at Washington.

"On behalf of the University of Washington and the entire Husky Nation, I am proud to welcome Chris Petersen as our new head football coach," Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said in a statement. "Coach Petersen's success and record are extraordinary, but even more impressive is the man himself. His integrity, work ethic and character make him an outstanding fit and leader of our student-athletes at UW. We are thrilled and proud to call Coach Petersen a Husky."

Petersen was 92-12 in his eight seasons at Boise State, turning the Broncos into a national program with two Fiesta Bowl titles. But he's coming off his worst regular season in his tenure with the Broncos after going 8-4 including a 38-6 loss at Washington in the season opener. He was a candidate for the Huskies job in 2009 before Washington hired Sarkisian. He also had been linked to openings at Stanford, USC and UCLA.

Petersen took over for Dan Hawkins in 2006 and turned Boise State into the darlings of the BCS. Whether it was the audacious trick plays that led to Boise State's first BCS upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, or the staggering run of victories with Kellen Moore at quarterback, Petersen was the one directing the Broncos rise.

The Broncos won five conference championships under Petersen and between 2008-11 won 12 games in every season. The Broncos reached as high as No. 2 in the AP Top 25 in 2010 and might have found themselves playing in another BCS game if not for an overtime loss at Nevada in the next-to-last game of the regular season.

"We wish Chris Petersen and his family all the best in their future endeavors," Boise State athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement. "Chris is an outstanding coach and role model, and we know he'll be successful at Washington. We have started a national search for our next head football coach at Boise State and will work tirelessly to find the perfect fit to continue the ascension of Bronco football."

"I know Bronco Nation joins me in thanking Chris Petersen for all he did to advance Boise Sate's football program over the past thirteen years," Boise State President Bob Kustra said. "He is not only a great coach but a great person and an asset to the community. We were lucky to have him at Boise State and Washington is lucky to get him. We wish Chris and Barbara the very best.

"Boise State fans, players and students know this program was built one brick at a time, with a succession of coaches who moved us to the next level. Our program has advanced steadily with an amazing amount of success through all those years, and we will be looking forward, not backward, making sure that we continue that success. Bronco Nation deserves no less."

Coyle announced that assistant head coach Bob Gregory has been named interim head coach.

Gregory is completing his fifth season as an assistant on the Bronco staff, and his second as assistant head coach. He has coached linebackers since returning to Boise State prior to the 2010 season, and served as the defensive coordinator for the Broncos in 2001.

"I'm honored to represent Boise State University and Bronco Football in our bowl game," Gregory said. "We have a great process in place, and we will continue to follow that process. We look forward to our bowl preparations knowing that our players will be excited and will play with great energy."

The Seattle Times reported Thursday that Washington had offered Petersen a deal that would make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the Pac-12.

Washington also had been scheduled to interview Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

Petersen made $2,151,500 at Boise State in 2012, according to USA TODAY Sports' salary database. He has a $750,000 buyout, according to The Seattle Times.

Contributing: The Associated Press