Head football coach Chris Petersen stepping down at Washington

Dec. 2 (UPI) — Washington head football coach Chris Petersen will step down from his coaching position after the Huskies’ bowl game, the school announced Monday.

Current Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake will replace Peterson, who will transition into a “leadership advisory role” within the school’s athletic department.

“It has been a privilege and a professional dream fulfilled to be part of this world-class institution,” Petersen said in a statement. “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.”

League sources told ESPN and Yahoo Sports that Petersen remains in good health and has no family issues. According to ESPN, the season wore him down and led to his surprising decision to step away from coaching.

Petersen arrived at Washington before the 2014 season and guided the Huskies to a pair of Pac-12 titles and a berth in the College Football Playoff in 2016. He steps down with a career record of 146-38, compiled during eight seasons at Boise State and six years at Washington.

Petersen’s career winning percentage (.793) ranks second among active coaches with at least five years of FBS experience. While coaching at Boise State, he led the Broncos to a pair of Fiesta Bowl victories and transformed the program into a mid-major power.

Lake has been on Petersen’s staff since 2012 at Boise State. He was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2016 and has served as the Huskies’ lone defensive coordinator in the last two seasons.

Lake will receive a five-year contract that starts at $3 million, according to ESPN. The deal will also include academic and performance-related incentives.

Washington posted a 7-5 record during the regular season and went 4-5 in conference play.