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Dixie State football: Paul Peterson named new head coach

Paul Peterson stands on the sidelines. After leading Snow College to an 18-4 record in two seasons, Peterson was named the Dixie State football head coach on Sunday.
Paul Peterson stands on the sidelines. After leading Snow College to an 18-4 record in two seasons, Peterson was named the Dixie State football head coach on Sunday.
Snow College Athletics

Dixie State University Director of Athletics Dr. Jason Boothe announced Sunday the appointment of Paul Peterson as the Trailblazers’ new head football coach.

“It was very apparent early in the search process that Paul was a perfect fit to be our next head football coach,” Boothe said. “He has proven to be a fantastic leader and a winner on and off the field, both as a player and a coach, throughout his career. We could not be more excited to welcome Paul, his wife Meagan and their sons to Trailblazer Nation."

Peterson comes to Dixie State after two years as head coach at Snow College, where he led the Badgers to an 18-4 record, including a victory in the 2017 El Toro Bowl. The Badgers remained in the NJCAA top 10 for the duration of Peterson’s tenure at Snow College, climbing as high as No. 4 during the 2017 season.

Under his leadership, Peterson’s Badger teams combined to earn 30 All-Western States Football League honors, including the WSFL and NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and WSFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2018. His Snow College teams were consistently ranked at the top of the NJCAA statistical categories, highlighted by the nation’s top marks in scoring and total offense.

“My family and I are super excited for this great opportunity,” Peterson said. “The Dixie State football program is on the rise, and I am grateful for President [Richard B.] Williams and Dr. Boothe for allowing me to lead these young men. I hope to keep the momentum going and put a team on the field that champions a positive culture that includes principles of hard work, toughness and accountability in the classroom and on the field. We will be actively engaged in the community, always looking for opportunities to serve and give back. Our doors are always open to past players and alumni. The future is bright at Dixie State University. Go Trailblazers!”

Prior to his time at Snow College, Peterson spent five years (2012-17) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at NCAA Division I FCS Sacramento State. As the offensive coordinator for the Hornets, Peterson helped produce some of the most impressive numbers in school history. The 2014 team set or tied nine school single-season records, including total points (458), points per game (38.2), touchdowns (60) and total yards (5,780).

Before his time at Sacramento State, Peterson served four years as the passing game coordinator, as well as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at Southern Utah. During his tenure, he coached three of the most decorated quarterbacks in SUU history, highlighted by future NFL draftee Brad Sorensen.

Peterson played collegiately at Boston College where he led the Eagles to a pair of bowl victories and was named team MVP for the 2004 season. He was a two-time Big East Conference Player of the Week and was the MVP of the Continental Tire Bowl. Peterson posted a 12-2 record as a starter and finished his career ranked second in career passing percentage. Off the field, he was a recipient of the Boston College Senior Leadership Award and was named the 2005 Boston College Person of the Year.

Following his collegiate career, Peterson played for the Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League. He began his coaching career at Snow College in 2005 as the team's quarterbacks coach. That season, he helped guide the Badgers to a 9-2 overall record, a No. 8 national ranking and a bowl victory. In 2006, he moved to BYU where he served as an offensive graduate assistant. That season, the Cougars logged an 11-2 record and closed the season ranked 15th nationally after winning the Mountain West Conference and the Las Vegas Bowl.

Peterson spent one season (2007) at North Carolina State as a defensive graduate assistant under Tom O'Brien, who was his head coach at Boston College.

Peterson graduated from Boston College with a degree in management and has since added a master's degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia-Irvine. He and his wife, Meagan, are the parents of five sons: Owen, Mack, Cal, Emmett and Levi.

Peterson will be introduced at a press conference on Wednesday at a time and location to be announced.