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Friday, February 16, 2007
Petersen could earn $1M per year

Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho -- If Boise State football coach Chris Petersen manages to guide the Broncos to another season like last year, his salary will climb above the $1 million mark.

But the contract he has agreed to first has to be approved by the state Board of Education, which meets Thursday.

Details of the five-year, $4.25 million contract were posted on the board's Web site. It calls for Petersen to receive $850,000 a year. If the Broncos win 12 games, he will receive an additional $161,500. Another $100,000 will be added if the team wins another Bowl Championship Series game like it did at the end of last season.

BSU President Bob Kustra and athletic director Gene Bleymaier had been negotiating with Petersen since the Broncos' 43-42 overtime win against Oklahoma on Jan. 1 in the Fiesta Bowl, aware that a larger school might try to hire him away.

"Chris Petersen is the gold standard of college football coaches today," said Kustra. "I'm delighted he has decided to stay here at Boise State, and it is our turn to show him the value we place on what he's done."

The Broncos went 13-0 last season and were ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press poll.

"[The contract] shows we at Boise State are serious about keeping this program in the national rankings," Kustra said. "To do less than this is not only unfair to Chris Petersen, I think it is unfair to the program and the opportunity the program represents for us to showcase the entire university."

Petersen currently is in the second year of a five-year contract with a base annual salary of $575,000. Petersen's counterpart at the Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, makes $3.45 million annually.

"I am certainly aware of the fact that football coaches -- successful football coaches -- will be courted by large programs, and well-financed programs significantly larger and better financed than ours," said Kustra. "However, I thought from the beginning that if we honored the work of Chris Petersen in a way that reflected everything we can possibly do financially for him here at Boise State, that the coach would accept that as a vote of confidence from his university."

Athletic department spokesman Max Corbet said no one in the department, including Petersen, could comment on the contract.

Besides Petersen's skills as a football coach, Kustra also said he appreciated the way the coach handled his role as a representative of the school both locally and nationally.

"There isn't an arrogant bone in Chris Petersen's body," said Kustra. "He never approaches you as though he's somebody who has accomplished what he has."