Financial terms of the new deal are still being negotiated, but one of Petersen's priorities is to secure raises for his assistant coaches.
Chris Petersen is in the process of negotiating a long-term contract extension with the University of Washington to remain the Huskies’ coach for the next decade, The Seattle Times has learned.
The extension could be for as long as 10 years, sources told The Times.
Financial terms of the new deal are still being negotiated, but it is expected to make Petersen the highest-paid coach in the Pac-12 Conference. The athletic department is looking at “creative” options as part of Petersen’s overall compensation package.
Money, however, is not Petersen’s primary motivation in getting an extension done. He wanted first to make known his commitment to UW — which should stifle speculation about him possibly leaving for another coaching job.
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Just as important to Petersen is securing raises for his assistant coaches, several of whom could be attractive to other programs with more high-profile openings after this season.
Co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, in particular, figures to be one of the most coveted coaches on the West Coast. Petersen promoted Lake to co-defensive coordinator after last season while also giving most of his other assistants significant pay increases.
Petersen has a guaranteed salary of $3.6 million this year, which ranks third among Pac-12 coaches. Potential bonuses for leading the No. 4 Huskies into the national playoff race could boost his earnings to more than $4 million this year.
On Thanksgiving Day last year, UW announced it had signed Petersen to a two-year contract extension that will pay him a guaranteed $4 million in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Under terms of that deal, he has a $2.5 million buyout of his contract this year; that buyout drops to $1.5 million next year.
Final details of the new extension likely won’t be signed off on until after the regular season.
Petersen, 15-12 in his first two seasons at UW, has the Huskies, at 9-0, are off to their best start since 1991. And at No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings they’re in position to qualify for the national playoffs for the first time.
Washington plays host to USC on Saturday in what is expected to be a sellout at Husky Stadium.