University of Washington

Wait? Penn State has a Chris Petersen too? Well, sort of.

There’s Washington coach Chris Petersen and then there’s Penn State administrator Kris Petersen.
There’s Washington coach Chris Petersen and then there’s Penn State administrator Kris Petersen. The Associated Press

If anyone sees Washington coach Chris Petersen, let him know that Penn State’s Kris Petersen would like to say hello.

Yes. You read that right. Penn State has a Kris Petersen. What are the odds? Well, there’s only 74 people in America who are named “Chris Petersen” and seven who are “Kris Petersen,” per

This Kris Petersen isn’t a coach. She’s the associate director for football at Penn State. Her job is to be the prime football contact for all things related to Nittany Lion football.

In short, her job is to deal with the media. Especially the ones fascinated by her name and a tie she shares with a certain college football coach.

“You get the occasional ‘I’m not that Chris Petersen’ or ‘the other Chris Petersen’ or the ‘real Chris Petersen’ or that kind of thing,” she said. “It’s kind of funny.”

Kris Petersen, who has worked in college athletics for more than 15 years, said this is the first time she’s ever crossed paths with someone who has the same name.

Or at least this close of a variation of it.

“I’ve known of him and, so, that’s kind of always been a bit of a joke,” she said. “Chris Petersen is up for this job or that job before he moved to Washington. You always kind of laugh when you hear it.

“I jokingly say he spells it the right way with an ‘e’ is a bit of an odd to spell it.”

There’s already been some confusion trying to tell the apart.

The day it was announced Penn State would play Washington, Nittany Lions coach James Franklin received a text from his Petersen but was on the other line talking to someone else.

As he was walking with Kris Petersen, he looked down at his phone and thought he received a text from Chris Petersen.

“It was me that had texted him and called,” she said. “We got a bit of a laugh out of that.”

For those wondering, this Kris Petersen will not be coaching on the sidelines Saturday during the Fiesta Bowl.

She will, however, make sure all the post-game madness from reporters seeking interviews will be handled.

If there’s time, maybe Kris Petersen will finally get a chance to meet Chris Petersen.

“It’s one thing to have the name ‘Chris Petersen’ but to have both names spelled differently,” she said. “But its kind of funny. I haven’t a had a chance to meet him yet. I’m sure I’ll meet him at some point.”

Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark