UW students react to Coach Petersen's departure announcement

SEATTLE – The University of Washington is reacting to the unexpected announcement that head football coach Chris Petersen is stepping down.

Students on campus said they heard the news in the middle of class, and couldn’t contain their surprise.

“He’s a legend, and everyone knows him here,” said Dania Bankesly, a senior at UW. “So yeah, it’ll be sad but it’ll be a good transition hopefully.”

While the news of Petersen’s imminent departure set in, students recalled grand memories of wearing purple and gold at Husky Stadium.

“I was at the game when we beat Stanford and they were ranked number two in the country, and it was a Friday night game,” said Robert Keener, a graduate student at UW. “It was the largest crowd ever at Husky Stadium. It was the wildest in-game experience I’ve ever been at.”

“I remember the moment he went on the field when we had that storm earlier this year, and he was like all right everybody go get your friends, go get your family members, we’re going to still play this game,” said Devan Minch, a student at UW. “That was like a really unique moment for me.”

Students said the special moments on the field will last a lifetime. Petersen is a coach that took the Huskies to two PAC-12 Championships.

“We’ve had a really great past six years for the Huskies. Really psyched about the Apple Cup, so I’ll be sad to see him go, but if that’s the way he thinks his career is going then I respect that,” said Preston Lee.

A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday morning with Jen Cohen, Petersen and Jimmy Lake, the defensive coordinator who will succeed him in the head coach position.