Petersen received a new contract Thursday that would escalate his salary above $1 million if he guides his team to another perfect campaign. Last season, Boise State went 13-0 and was the only Division I program to finish undefeated. Capping the season was the Broncos' 43-42 overtime win against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
Petersen's new five-year, $4.25 million deal _ a record for Boise State _ still lags behind coaches at other major colleges, but athletic director Gene Bleymaier called it "a reward for a phenomenal season."
The state Board of Education approved the contract Thursday.
"I'd just like to say how proud and humbled and appreciative I am," Petersen said during a news conference. "I'm just truly honored to be here."
Bleymaier and school president Bob Kustra started negotiating with Petersen after the Fiesta Bowl, aware that larger schools might try to lure him away.
The Broncos were ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press poll.
Under the contract, Petersen will receive a base salary of $850,000 a year, plus an additional $161,500 if the Broncos win 12 games. Another $100,000 will be added if the team plays another Bowl Championship Series game.
The contract was to have been even larger, but Petersen asked that more money be given to his assistant coaches, who already received 20 percent raises.
"Coaches are the most competitive, aggressive, challenge-seeking individuals out there," Petersen said. "These guys were more than generous, and the big thing for me was making sure the assistant coaches were taken care of as well."
Bleymaier said keeping the coaching staff intact was a priority for the school, which put together the best package it could to reward the team.
"We wanted them to know that we appreciate that, and that we want them to stick around," he said. "We feel like we can afford this, and it's the right thing to do."
Petersen said he hadn't been contacted by any other colleges or NFL teams, but he also said that didn't concern him. More important, he said, was to be part of a program that continues to grow. A stadium expansion is under way, and an indoor facility is planned.
"You get the feeling that everybody is into getting better here," he said. "You can just feel the program continue to grow."
Petersen was in the second year of a five-year contract with a base annual salary of $575,000. Petersen's counterpart at the Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, makes $3.45 million annually.