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Jay Peterson
Position: Defensive Coordinator
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Peterson Videos

Jay Peterson begins the third season of his second stint on the Miami coaching staff in 2013. For the second straight season, he’ll be the RedHawks’ defensive coordinator. He also is the team’s linebacker coach, a role he has had since rejoining Miami in 2011. He was also the linebacker coach from 1991-98 under the late Randy Walker. The Hopedale, Ohio, native has 28 years of coaching experience at the professional, collegiate and high school levels.

The past two seasons have seen four of Peterson’s defensive players earn All-MAC honors. That includes two-time First-Team All-MAC defensive back Dayonne Nunley, who returns to anchor Peterson’s 2013 squad.

Peterson joined the RedHawks after two years at Illinois State. Prior to his time at ISU, Peterson spent five years at Eastern Michigan, where he served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 2004-08, while also holding the title of assistant head coach during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

From 1999-2003, Peterson coached at Northwestern, first overseeing the linebackers and special teams before moving to the defensive line for the last two seasons.

During his first stint at Miami, Peterson was in charge of linebackers and helped with the special teams. During that time, he coached several All-MAC linebackers, including two-time MAC Defensive Player of the Year JoJuan Armour and Dustin Cohen, a third-team All-American.

Peterson has also spent time coaching in the professional ranks, spending three summers in the NFL Minority Coaching Internship program, serving various roles with the Indianapolis Colts (1995), Detroit Lions (1997) and Chicago Bears (2001). He was also an assistant football coach at three high schools in the Cincinnati area: Cadiz (1985-87), Anderson (1988-89) and Withrow (1990) High Schools.

As a player, Peterson was a standout running back, earning four varsity letters from 1980-83. His career total of 2,874 rushing yards still ranks fifth on Miami’s all-time career rushing list. He served as a co-captain as a senior and was a first-team All-MAC selection in 1982, a second-team pick in 1983 and an honorable mention choice in 1981.

Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1985. He and his wife, Freda, have a daughter, Jada (18).

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