University of Washington

Chris Petersen and family settling into life in Seattle, where his father once lived

The traffic — “horrendous,” he calls it, and he isn’t wrong — was the first thing Ron Petersen noticed about modern-day Seattle

There is much more of it now than there was in the 1950s, when Ron, father of first-year coach Chris Petersen, lived in south Seattle’s Rainier Valley neighborhood.

He moved away in seventh grade, but Chris’ grandparents lived there for a while, so they would visit the area when Chris was on Christmas vacation.

Ron said he came up from his home in Yuba City, California, to visit during the summer after Chris had become Washington’s coach, and visited again during fall camp to see Chris and attend practice.

He marveled at how the city has grown since he lived here.

“Every vacant lot seems to be filled up,” he said. “It’s very, very crowded from what I remember as a kid.”

Chris admits he hasn’t seen as much of the city as he would like, or as much as he plans to. He says he doesn’t have a favorite restaurant, but that simply “we’ve been really pleased with all the different options.”

“I think it’s an exciting time and exciting city, and all these things that (we) have really been excited about, what we have been able to get to, restaurants to eat, just the different pockets and neighborhoods and stuff have been really neat,” he said.

And the traffic doesn’t seem to be much of an issue. At least not in the mornings and evenings, when Petersen is driving back and forth from his office in Husky Stadium to his home in the Bellevue area. When looking for homes, Petersen said a priority was to find somewhere close enough to UW that he could “get here in a hurry.”

But get this: Petersen actually sometimes finds himself wishing the drive would take him longer (which, for a Seattle-area citizen, is kind of like wishing it would rain more or complaining about a lack of Starbucks locations).

“I live close enough that it’s one of those things where sometimes, I just don’t want to get here too quick,” he said. “I like to think about a few things before I get here.”