The college coaching carousel began before a single coach was even fired. True to the nature of the sport, the hashtag #FireButchJones was circulated throughout Tennessee’s win-starved fanbase weeks before Butch Jones was inevitably canned. Thus sparked legions of schools dumping their coaches or vice versa. Throughout the musical chairs exercise of who will be coaching what school, rumors abounded about where certain coaches might go. Washington coach Chris Petersen was not immune from such rumors.
His name was brought up on dream lists for Jones’ vacant position. His name was brought up in discussions over who would replace Willie Taggart at Oregon. Washington’s fan base, and a handful of recruits, predictably grew a bit restless, seeing coaches — Taggart and Jimbo Fisher, to name a few — bolt for programs in moves that could be viewed as lateral.
They didn’t want to see Petersen go.
“It’s funny because where we are now, we don’t even pay one bit attention,” Petersen said at his press conference on Saturday. “I don’t think our team does. But it did come up because we forget sometimes that our recruits are hearing this stuff on the internet for the first time. And so we did hear it, and we had a person or two call, and it was comical. We forgot it was out there, that’s how much we pay attention to it. It’s like ‘This has nothing to do with us. That’s just hearsay gossip rumors and if you pay any attention to that then you’re in trouble.”
It’s no surprise that Petersen is discussed as a highly coveted coach. He helped build Boise State into a perennial power, finishing a pair of undefeated seasons. Then he took over a middling Washington program and in three years had the Huskies competing in the College Football Playoff.
“I just think this is the best place in the country for us so why go somewhere else?” he said. “I guess I gotta make sure to get that message out there.”
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