Peterson agrees to 5-year extension with Boise State

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Boise State coach Chris Petersen has agreed to a 5-year contract that will keep him at the school through 2014.

Boise State did not disclose financial terms of Petersen’s new contract, announced at Fiesta Bowl media day on Friday, and athletic director Gene Bleymaier said details were being completed. The deal must be approved by the state board of education.

Petersen is 48-4 in four seasons at Boise State and has led the sixth-ranked Broncos (13-0) to the Fiesta Bowl twice. They meet No. 3 Texas Christian on Monday night in Glendale.

“I’m blessed to be here and appreciative,” Petersen said at a news conference at a resort hotel.

Petersen signed a five-year, $4.25 million contract after the Broncos’ first Fiesta Bowl appearance, in January 2007.

Bleymaier said the new agreement was reached a week ago, but officials decided to time the announcement for maximum publicity, with the Broncos basking in the BCS spotlight.

“We finalized it a week ago and decided now would be a good time, a good way to start the new year,” Bleymaier said. “We would like to think that coach Petersen will be with us at Boise State throughout his career in coaching.”

Petersen was asked if the contract included specific clauses allowing him and his staff to leave.

“I think that goes without saying if you don’t win enough games,” Petersen said, chuckling.

Bleymaier said the deal includes “the usual clauses.”

As Petersen has raised Boise State’s national profile, he has drawn interest from football programs in richer conferences. Most of the speculation has been baseless, but Boise State officials wanted to make a statement that Petersen is serious about staying.

“We know that he’s under consideration for probably every opening that there is in the country,” Bleymaier said. “That’s why this announcement is so important to us and to our program.”

There was another reason to make the announcement here: it’s recruiting season. Any doubt about Petersen’s future in Boise could have hindered the Broncos’ recruiting, which has been boosted by two BCS appearances in four years.

“The recruiting season is in high gear right now, and we don’t want any questions about who’s going to be heading up this program, not only at the top but with the whole staff,” Bleymaier said.

President Dr. Robert Kustra attended the news conference and said keeping Petersen on campus was a high priority for his administration.

“He’s done an outstanding job at Boise State, one of the finest football coaches in the nation,” Kustra said. “He has shared values, the kind of values we all believe in and respect.”

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