Chris Petersen (Washington)
Petersen is a proven winner. If the Aggies want to make a splash, this would be the guy to do it with. He’s won everywhere he’s ever gone and finished the season unranked just four times in 11 years. It’s entirely possible that Peterson could lead Washington back to at least a New Year’s Six Bowl in 2017.
He has an Aggie connection. Scott Woodward, the Aggies’ current Athletic Director, hired Petersen at Washington. Somehow he was able to coax him away from Boise State where Petersen had established himself as one of the preeminent college football minds in the country. Some might best remember him for the Broncos’ upset of Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl that included a spectacular combination of trick plays that will live forever in college football history.
He’s as affordable as any elite coach could be. Washington made him the highest paid coach in the PAC-12 earlier this year when they signed him to a deal that nets him an average of $4.875 Million per year. Sumlin was making $5 Million per season. The cost to get Peterson under contract, even with a slight pay raise, should be doable.
Peterson had his pick of nearly every coaching job that came up between then and 2014 when he signed his first deal with Washington. The Texas A&M job was attractive in 2011 and has only increased in value since then. Peterson should be the No. 1 name on the Aggies’ shopping list. There’s a real chance that Woodward is able to talk him into coming down to College Station, Texas.