The University of Washington announced that head coach Chris Peterson will step down after the Huskies’ bowl game and be replaced by defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake.
Petersen owns a career record of 146-38, including his eight seasons at Boise State and six years at Washington. Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen announced that Petersen will transition into a leadership advisory role for the athletics department.
“It has been a privilege and a professional dream fulfilled to be part of this world-class institution,” Petersen said in a press release. “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. I thank each of them, as well as our coaches and administrative staff for the incredible commitment they’ve made to Husky football during my tenure. The football program and Husky Athletics across the board will continue to prosper – and do it the right way – with Jen Cohen’s leadership and the University administration’s commitment to excellence. I’ll be a Husky for life, but now is the right time for me to step away from my head coaching duties, and recharge.”
Record success for Huskies under Petersen
Petersen led the Huskies to a paid of Pac-12 Championships (2016, ’18) over the past six seasons along with a spot in the 2016 College Football Playoffs. The Huskies’ 39 victories from 2015-19 set a new school record for a four-year stretch.
“Chris has been transformational for not only our football program, but our entire athletic department,” Cohen said. “It has been such a privilege to watch how he has been so committed to the development of our young men, not just on the field, but more importantly off. I can’t thank him enough for his service and leadership, and I look forward to having him stay on staff in a leadership advisory role, so he can continue to impact individuals across our department and the entire campus.”
Lake’s first head coaching opportunity
Replacing Petersen will be Lake, who has deep ties to the program. He served as an assistant coach under Keith Gilbertson in 2004 and returned as a defensive backs coach when Petersen took over in 2014. He was promoted to co-defensive coordinator before the 2016 season and to defensive coordinator last year.
The Huskies’ defense led the Pac-12 in total defense and scoring defense every season from 2015-18, and eight former Washington defensive backs coached by Lake are currently on NFL rosters.
“I could not be more excited about taking over as head football coach at the University of Washington,” said Lake. “I’ve been dreaming of this opportunity for as long as I can remember and I can’t think of a better place to do it than in the world-class city of Seattle and at such a prestigious university with a rich football tradition. This wouldn’t be possible without the mentorship of Coach Petersen and I would like to thank him for everything he has done for me, as well as Jen Cohen for entrusting me with this opportunity.”
“I can’t think of someone better than Jimmy to take over this program,” said Petersen. “His energy and ability to relate to our players is unmatched. Jimmy is a great teacher of the game and his track record of developing young men both on and off the field speaks for itself. He is ready to take this step and I have full confidence that he will continue to build on the foundation that has been set here and he will elevate the program to new heights.”
Jimmy Lake Career Coaching Resume
• 2018-2019 – Washington – Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
• 2016-2017 – Washington – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
• 2014-2015 – Washington – Defensive Backs
• 2012-2013 – Boise State – Defensive Backs/Passing Game Coordinator
• 2010-2011 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Defensive Backs
• 2008 – Detroit Lions – Defensive Backs
• 2006-2007 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Assistant Defensive Backs Coach
• 2005 – Montana State – Secondary
• 2004 – Washington – Defensive Backs
• 2000-2003 – Eastern Washington – Secondary
• 1999 – Eastern Washington – Undergraduate Assistant
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)