Chris Petersen plans on sticking around the Boise State program for a while.
The Broncos' coach wants all of the team's fans to stick around, too. The Broncos' fans were such a big part of the team's magical season, caravanning to Salt Lake City and taking over Reno. At the Fiesta Bowl, orange-and-blue clad fans were everywhere, far exceeding their Oklahoma counterparts in the days before the bowl game and matching them, at least, on game day.
Now Petersen wants that excitement, that enthusiasm to carry over into next season — even when Division I-AA Weber State is on the schedule. Boise State sold out all of its home games in 2006 except for the season opener against Division I-AA Sacramento State.
"When you go into that stadium (in Glendale, Ariz.) and you see all those Bronco fans, you're saying, ‘Hey, they came a long way to get that done. Why can't we do it every game at our place?'" he said. "And I know things have changed when those fans will show up no matter who you're playing. That's how it is at Oklahoma, and that's how I'm hoping it will get to be eventually here at Boise."
Petersen could have been the most highly sought-after coaching prospect in the country. But he has maintained all season that he is not interested in a job change and is expected to sign a new contract with Boise State in the offseason, one with a considerable raise.
There is still room for growth in the program, Petersen said.
"I have high hopes for it. I really do. My hope is that they have to cut off season ticket sales. That when those games are sold out, you can't see an empty seat in the stadium," he said. "And we have to expand the stadium. Those are the things that fire me up."
Boise State will seek approval from the State Board of Education for a $35.9 million expansion to Bronco Stadium that will include luxury boxes, club seats and a press box addition. The university hopes to have the project completed for the 2008 season.
"It's going to be a facility like no other," said Curt Apsey, the senior associate athletic director for advancement. "We're going to do it right."