Petersen says he's staying at Boise State

Petersen says he's staying at Boise State
January 11, 2011, 1:33 am
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Monday, January 10, 2011 6:50 p.m.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Chris Petersen is staying put, content for now to continue his highly successful run at Boise State. The Broncos coach acknowledged Monday being intrigued by Stanford's opening and having a telephone conversation with Cardinal athletic officials, but said the allure was not enough to make him leave his powerhouse program. "I'm really happy to be in the position I've been the last five years," said Petersen, who is 61-5 with two undefeated seasons at Boise State. "I think (Stanford) is a very special place. I just thought it was worth having a conversation about, but that's about as far as it went." Those words are a big relief to Broncos players and fans who became worried when Petersen once again was linked to another high-profile job. Stanford has been looking for a coach since Jim Harbaugh took over the NFL's San Francisco 49ers last week and Petersen grew up and played college football in northern California. Boise State made a serious bid this season to play in Monday night's national title game or another BCS bowl, at one point being ranked as high as No. 2. But those hopes were dashed by a late loss to rival Nevada. The Broncos beat No. 20 Utah 26-3 in the MACCO Bowl in Las Vegas to finish the season with a 12-1 record. Next season, the Broncos will leave the Western Athletic Conference, which they've dominated the last 10 years, and begin playing in a Mountain West Conference that has been gutted of top teams such as Utah, TCU and Brigham Young. Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier said he granted Stanford permission to talk to Petersen, but also lobbied hard to keep him. Bleymaier declined to say whether Petersen's current five-year contract would be reworked to increase its value. Bleymaier did say, however, that Petersen made it clear he wants to see Boise State move forward with plans to build a football office and locker room complex, along with adding more seats to Bronco Stadium. "A new football facility is definitely a priority for us," Bleymaier said. Petersen also filled two openings on his staff Monday, including bringing back Brent Pease to coordinate the Broncos' high-scoring offense. Last month, Pease accepted the same job at Indiana, but was lured back after former Broncos offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin moved on to Texas. The Broncos' wide receivers coach the last five years, Pease now oversees an offense led by quarterback Kellen Moore, a Heisman finalist, that averaged 519 yards last season, fourth best in the nation. Pease only spent a week in Indiana before deciding to take the promotion on the Broncos staff. "It's been an up and down time, and there's been some gut wrenching decisions," Pease said. Indiana coach Kevin Wilson was out of town at a national coaches' convention and unavailable for comment, school spokesman Jeff Keag said. Petersen also said Robert Prince will return to coach wide receivers and serve as passing game coordinator. Prince coached wide receivers at Boise State under former Broncos coach Dan Hawkins from 2001-2002 and was passing game coordinator in 2003 before leaving to coach in the pros. He rejoined Hawkins' staff last season, serving as wide receivers and passing game coach at Colorado. "I can't express how happy we are to have two outstanding coaches back on our staff," Petersen said.