UW Chris Petersen Jimmy Lake

SEATTLE, Wash. - Chris Petersen will be stepping down from his position as Head Football Coach at the University of Washington, while Spokane native and former Eastern Washington player/coach Jimmy Lake is slated to take over the helm.

Petersen announced Monday that he will step down from the position after the Huskie's bowl game. UW Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen has named current defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake as the new head coach, and says Petersen will transition into a leadership advisory role for the athletic department.

"It has been a privilege and a professional dream fulfilled to be part of this world-class institution," Petersen said. "I will forever be grateful, honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to coach our fine young men on Montlake for these past six seasons. I thank each of them, as well as our coaches and administrative staff for the incredible commitment they've made to Husky football during my tenure. The football program and Husky Athletics across the board will continue to prosper – and do it the right way – with Jen Cohen's leadership and the University administration's commitment to excellence. I'll be a Husky for life, but now is the right time for me to step away from my head coaching duties, and recharge."

The news comes on the heels of Washington's sixth-straight Apple Cup victory over Washington State under Petersen and the seventh overall. Petersen spent eight seasons with Boise State prior to the past six with the Huskies. Petersen has led UW to two Pac-12 Championships, the 2-16 College Footbal Playoffs and three consecutive New Years Six bowl games.

"Chris has been transformational for not only our football program, but our entire athletic department," Cohen said. "It has been such a privilege to watch how he has been so committed to the development of our young men, not just on the field, but more importantly off. I can't thank him enough for his service and leadership, and I look forward to having him stay on staff in a leadership advisory role, so he can continue to impact individuals across our department and the entire campus."

Lake has been elevated to Head Coach after serving as the Defensive Coordinator since 2018. Lake is a graduate of North Central High School and also played for Eastern Washington before serving as an undergraduate assistant and secondary coach for the Eagles.

"I could not be more excited about taking over as head football coach at the University of Washington," said Jimmy Lake. "I've been dreaming of this opportunity for as long as I can remember and I can't think of a better place to do it than in the world-class city of Seattle and at such a prestigious university with a rich football tradition. This wouldn't be possible without the mentorship of Coach Petersen and I would like to thank him for everything he has done for me, as well as Jen Cohen for entrusting me with this opportunity."

Lake had stints in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions prior to coming back to the college ranks in 2012 with Boise State. He joined UW as a defensive backs coach in 2014.

"There is no one better suited to assume the reins of our program than Jimmy Lake," Cohen said. "Under Coach Petersen's mentorship, Jimmy has grown into one of the most widely respected minds in college football. He has an extraordinary way of relating to our student-athletes, is a gifted teacher of the game, and has a vision for what will make this program successful." 

"I can't think of someone better than Jimmy to take over this program," said Petersen. "His energy and ability to relate to our players is unmatched. Jimmy is a great teacher of the game and his track record of developing young men both on and off the field speaks for itself. He is ready to take this step and I have full confidence that he will continue to build on the foundation that has been set here and he will elevate the program to new heights."