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January 1, 2010
GENE BLEYMAIER: Good morning. First of all, on behalf of Boise State University, I just want to thank John Junker and everybody here at the Fiesta Bowl for the tremendous hospitality and reception that they've given our team, our staff and our fans, everybody associated with this great event.
It is again just a phenomenal experience and one that we are overwhelmed with and it all starts with John Junker and his staff of yellow jackets. They have just been tremendous.
Today we are very excited as we start a new year to announce that Boise State University and Coach Petersen have come to an agreement on a new five-year contract for Coach Petersen to stay at Boise State University and continue as our head football coach.
This is something that obviously we've been wanting and working on for quite a while with Coach Petersen. We are just thrilled that we're able to come to terms and reach agreement on this new contract. We would like to think that Coach Petersen will be with us at Boise State throughout his career in coaching. Four-year record at 48-4 is just unprecedented.
We couldn't be happier with Coach and his staff and what they've done for our university and for our football program. And we want nothing more than for that to continue.
I want to thank Coach Pete for everything he has done for us, for the university, and agreeing to continue on as the head of this program and also President Kustra for his support and endorsement of the program. None of this would be possible without the commitment and the support of the administration starting with the President of the University.
So as we start 2010 we've got a great day, a great year ahead of us, and we are just very excited to announce that we do have a new five-year agreement with Coach Pete. The terms are being finalized, so we won't be talking specifics this morning. We will get the attorneys together to hammer out a contract.
Then it has to go to our state board of education. They need to bless it before we can talk publicly about the details of the contract. But what I can tell you today is that we have reached agreement in principle on a new five-year contract with Coach Pete.
Q. This is a new contract, not just an extension, a whole new five-year deal?
GENE BLEYMAIER: However you want to say it. It will be a five-year contract.
Q. Through 2014?
Q. Pending state board of education approval?
GENE BLEYMAIER: That is correct.
Q. When is that?
GENE BLEYMAIER: At the next earliest available meeting time. I don't know when that is right now.
Q. Did you guys finalize this this year or just decide to announce it here and it has been done for a little while? It has been done for a little while.
GENE BLEYMAIER: We finalized it a week ago and decided that now would be a good time, good way to start the new year.
Q. Is it going to be a significant amount more money or just more years mostly?
GENE BLEYMAIER: I don't know want to get into the details of the agreement. Suffice it to say, we think it is a win-win agreement for both sides and this was a cooperative effort from the beginning and something that we both wanted to accomplish.
I'm very excited to say we were able to do this.
Q. Where did it rank on your priority list of things you wanted to get done before the new year?
ROBERT KUSTRA: Clearly we have been working on this for a few months, and this was absolutely a top priority for Boise State University, to be affiliated, and standing alongside Chris Petersen is just a great accomplishment.
He has done a great job here at Boise State, one of the finest football coaches in the nation. His team -- you all know his team. It has built character. It has taught leadership. He has shared values, the kind of values we all believe in and respect.
In addition to all his coaching abilities, Coach Patterson has been an incredible supporter of Boise State University as a university. He's placed emphasis on academic priorities, not only for his student-athletes but for the entire University.
To have somebody like this as a team player continuing on here in this key leadership role is an awfully important thing for Boise State University as we take this university to the next level.
Q. Pete, what were you looking for here? Why did you decide to do this?
COACH PETERSEN: Well, you know, I would just like to say how appreciative I am to Dr. Kustra, Gene, to have this opportunity to stay here as long as possible.
You know, I think the one thing is, we have been talking about this for a while, working this out. I think they said it best, I don't think about it just for me. I think about it for our coaches as well.
And so I think that the longer we can keep our crew intact, the better for Boise State, and I'm just so appreciative with everything they've done for our program, my family, our staff.
The one thing is we are excited to get this message out. We don't want this to take away too much from the reason that we're here, from this great experience, to make this about this contract or anything like that. But we are so appreciative and very humbled by the whole situation.
Q. You said you agreed on it a week ago. It is a pretty sweet Christmas present then?
COACH PETERSEN: No question. I really feel, like I said, I'm blessed to be here and appreciative.
Q. Did you look into any other opportunities this year at all?
COACH PETERSEN: No, no, really haven't. These things are kind of hard as the season is going on because you are so focused on the task at hand.
These guys have done such a nice job of making it as doable and as easy as these processes. They can be tough processes. And they have been more than generous and very great to work with.
Q. You mentioned your staff. Did you negotiate some way that they will be taken care of as part of this?
COACH PETERSEN: There is some give and take in the whole contract, without question. You know, I mean, there's -- every place has their ceiling on what people can do.
We understand that at Boise State. But we also understand what a special place it is and what great people we work with. I think it's a win-win for all sides involved.
Q. Gene, how important is it to have Coach Pete locked up and make some of those rumors go away now?
GENE BLEYMAIER: It is a number one priority. It is critical. 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.
And we did address the assistant coaches in this negotiation and we want to keep this whole team together, because as Coach Pete has always said, it is not about one person or two people or whatever. It takes a lot of people in the program, in the coaching staff, in the training room, the equipment room, the medical staff, you name it, to make a successful program.
We want to make sure that stays as intact as possible.
Q. Did anyone contact you for permission to talk to Coach Pete?
GENE BLEYMAIER: This year? (Smiling).
GENE BLEYMAIER: Not this year (laughter). No, not recently. They don't have to. It is pretty obvious that people are interested in Coach Pete any time there is a job opening. We would be very naive to think that he's not under consideration.
We know that he's under consideration for probably every opening that there is in the country. That's why this announcement is so important to us and to our program.
Q. Obviously there is maybe an issue with Pete's. Are you expecting the rest of those guys to be back with what you have done here?
COACH PETERSEN: You never know how these things go. I think it is a nervous time of year for everybody. It is a nervous time of year for administrators. It is a nervous time of year for me, for our coaches. It is a nervous time of year because of our recruits. It is just that time of the year. I know this.
We got a great situation at Boise State. If we lose a guy to a situation that's better for him and his family, we are all good with that, but it is going to be a really good situation because I think we are all in a good situation as we sit.
Q. How nice is it to have this behind you before Monday and not to have to deal with it?
COACH PETERSEN: No question. That's why we wanted to talk about it and put it behind us. It is all about this game and these players and all the things that they've done to help get us here.
Q. You have only lost one guy to an NFL team. How important has that been?
COACH PETERSEN: I think it is because of Dr. Kustra and Gene Bleymaier and the foundation they have made and the funds and the money they are able to pay the assistant coaches. They are appreciative of the situation that they're in and that we're in. There is no question about it. For them to go to another place, I mean, you know, it's going to have to be somewhere special.
Q. Gene, you said give and take with the contract. How difficult is it to put something like this together given the fund-raising challenges with the athletic department?
GENE BLEYMAIER: Well, this process was as smooth as I have ever been through and it is a credit to Coach Pete. I think the great thing about Pete and his staff is they want to be here. They understand -- I think that the President and I are doing everything that we can with Bronco Nation to keep this thing going and to keep this coaching staff together.
They understand that, and I think in any situation that's all you can really ask for, is people giving it their best shot.
Q. Are there any specific clauses in the contract that allow guys to leave?
COACH PETERSEN: I think that goes without saying if you don't win enough games. (Laughter).
GENE BLEYMAIER: Yeah, there's the usual clauses. Since they outlawed slavery -- (smiling) -- we can't force anybody to work for the university, as much as I would like that.
Again, I would like to end again by just thanking the Fiesta Bowl and the reason that we're here in this great city at this great event, this is an experience of a lifetime for our program and for our players.
There's not a better Bowl in the country, bar none, than the Fiesta Bowl and the hospitality and the class with how this whole week is run and everything surrounding this event on Monday night is nothing but the best. And please know how appreciative all of us are for being here, the honor to represent our University in this championship.
End of FastScripts