- Graham Watson, College Football
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Boise State and coach Chris Petersen have agreed to a new five-year contract that will keep Petersen with the Broncos through 2014.
"I'm blessed to be here and appreciative," Petersen said at a news conference at a resort hotel.
The contract is pending Idaho Board of Education approval; the terms of the agreement have not been finalized.
"This is something that obviously we've been wanting and working on for quite a while with Coach Pete, and we're just thrilled that we're able to come to terms and reach an agreement on this new contract," Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier said. "We would like to think that Coach Pete will be with us at Boise State throughout his career in coaching ... We couldn't be happier with Coach and his staff and what they've done for our university and for our football program."
Petersen is 48-4 during his four seasons with the Broncos. He's posted three undefeated regular seasons, and Monday's Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against TCU is the second BCS bowl in which the Broncos have played.
Bleymaier said the agreement has been set in principle for the past week, but that they wanted to announce it at the Fiesta Bowl to ring in the new year. Petersen said he hoped it didn't distract from the game.
Petersen said there were provisions in the contract for his assistants and that he hoped to keep his current staff in place. The Broncos have lost just one assistant during Petersen's tenure.
Although Bleymaier didn't elaborate on the specifics of the contract, he did call it a "win-win." He said he had not been contacted this year by other programs wishing to interview Petersen, but did note that there was a fair buyout clause.
"Since they outlawed slavery, we can't force anybody to work for the university as much as I'd like that," Bleymaier said.
In February 2007, Petersen signed a five-year contract worth $850,000 per year plus incentives.
Petersen was asked if the contract included specific clauses allowing him and his staff to leave.
"I think that goes without saying if you don't win enough games," Petersen said, chuckling.
Bleymaier said the deal includes "the usual clauses."
As Petersen has raised Boise State's national profile, he has drawn interest from football programs in richer conferences. Most of the speculation has been baseless, but Boise State officials wanted to make a statement that Petersen is serious about staying.
"We know that he's under consideration for probably every opening that there is in the country," Bleymaier said. "That's why this announcement is so important to us and to our program."
There was another reason to make the announcement here: It's recruiting season. Any doubt about Petersen's future in Boise could have hindered the Broncos' recruiting, which has been boosted by two BCS appearances in four years.
"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," Bleymaier said.
Graham Watson covers college football for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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