JAN. 9, 2001: New coach Dan Hawkins hires Petersen as his offensive coordinator. Petersen spent the previous six years as the wide receivers coach at Oregon. "We feel comfortable that this is the right opportunity for us," Petersen said. " Hopefully we can just keep things rolling (at Boise State)."
LATE 2001: Petersen decides to stay at Boise State, spurning overtures from Oregon, Cal and Baylor. It's the beginning of an annual chase for the coach. "We just want to live normally for a while, for a long while," he said of his family.
2002-04: The Broncos lead the nation with 45.6 points per game in 2002 and 43 points per game in 2003. They finish second at 48.9 points per game in 2004 - increasing the attention on Petersen. He is named a finalist for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation's top assistant coach, twice (2002, 2004).
DEC. 16, 2005: Petersen, then 41, becomes the 10th head coach in school history, introduced at the same time that Hawkins is being introduced as Colorado's head coach. Reluctant to trade schematics for program building, Petersen at first thought he would follow Hawkins to Boulder. He decided to stay instead. "This truly is a dream of mine," Petersen said. "... I wouldn't get myself into a situation I didn't feel extremely confident about." School President Bob Kustra predicts exactly the impact that Petersen would have: "I don't think there's any question that the dream lives on with this appointment. The dream for me is national rankings, the dream for me is someday another conference, the dream for me is busting the (Bowl Championship Series). Chris Petersen can get all those things done for the Boise State University Broncos."
2006: Petersen produces one of the best first seasons by a head coach in college football history - a record 13 wins and no losses, and a dramatic 43-42 victory over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, a game considered one of the greatest ever played. Petersen becomes a national phenomenon after the Broncos win the game with a series of trick plays, including a hook-and-lateral to force overtime and a Statue of Liberty handoff to win it on a two-point conversion. "When he said, 'We're going for two,' " tailback Ian Johnson said, "everybody said, 'We're going to take this game.' It shows how much faith he has in us." Petersen is named the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year. Final ranking: No. 5.
2007: The Broncos (10-3) lose 24-10 at Washington, drop the WAC title game at Hawaii and fall in a bowl game against East Carolina. It's Petersen's worst season until 2013.
AUG. 30, 2008: The Stueckle Sky Center - the long-desired addition to Bronco Stadium, with suites and club seats - opens.
2008: The Broncos post a 12-0 record in the regular season and lose 17-16 to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl. The season begins the program's growth to a well-rounded national power because of a maturing defense. The Broncos finish third in the nation in points allowed (12.6 per game). Final ranking: No. 11.
2009: The Broncos win a hyped home opener against Oregon, go undefeated in the regular season for the third time in four years - 13-0 - and beat TCU 17-10 in the Fiesta Bowl. Petersen becomes the first two-time Bear Bryant winner, but his program takes a hit - defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox leaves for Tennessee. "I'm pretty sure it's not a dream. I'm going to enjoy this one," defensive back Winston Venable said. Final ranking: No. 4.
2010: With the most loaded roster in Boise State history, the Broncos beat Virginia Tech in Landover, Md., draw a visit from ESPN's "College GameDay" and ascend as high as No. 3 in the polls. But after winning 24 straight games, they lose to Nevada in overtime and miss a trip to the Rose Bowl. Still, quarterback Kellen Moore reaches New York as the school's first Heisman Trophy finalist. "It's just heartbreaking ... it's sad that we couldn't finish," tailback Doug Martin said. "We always talk about finishing. We just couldn't do it (at Nevada)." Offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin leaves for Texas after the season. Final ranking: No. 9
JAN. 10, 2011: Petersen announces that he will stay at Boise State after a phone interview with Stanford. BSU begins planning to build him an office and training facility in the north end zone of Bronco Stadium. "I don't want to be lured away," Petersen said. "We just want to do the best we can here and continue to build on what we've got."
SEPT. 13, 2011: The NCAA imposes several penalties on the Broncos for rules violations stemming from how incoming players were housed and fed in the summer before enrollment. Most notably, the Broncos lose three scholarships each in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
2011: The Broncos - new members of the Mountain West - win their first eight games, Moore makes another run at the Heisman and the team is a dark horse in the national championship race. But they lose 36-35 to TCU on Nov. 12 at Bronco Stadium - Petersen's first home loss. New offensive coordinator Brent Pease (Florida), special teams coach Jeff Choate (Washington State) and defensive backs coach Marcel Yates (Texas A&M) continue the run of assistants to move on. "The bottom line is Coach Pete's there, and as long as he's there, everything is going to work out just fine," Moore said. Final ranking: No. 8.
2012: The Broncos struggle offensively through an 11-2 season but win a share of the Mountain West title and beat Washington in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. Immediately after the bowl win, Petersen pledges a thorough review and update of the offensive playbook. "We're starting at ground zero and we're going to figure this thing out in terms of what's best for us and the people that we have," Petersen said. "The kids improved and all that, but we have to be able to score more points than we scored." Final ranking: No. 18.
SUMMER 2013: The Broncos move into the $22 million Bleymaier Football Complex and install a new high-definition video board.
2013: The Broncos' new offense debuts with a dud - a 38-6 loss at Washington that is the worst of Petersen's career. They lose key games at Fresno State, BYU and San Diego State, finish a Petersen era-worst 8-4, and fail to win the Mountain West Mountain Division despite a 5-0 record within the division. "You want to win a few more games, but I think we can all be better for it when we move forward," Petersen said.
DEC. 6, 2013: After flirting with USC earlier in the week, Petersen accepts the head coaching position at Washington without public comment.