Chesterton Tribune



Mark Peterson recommended for CHS Football job

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Mark Peterson didnt waste any time assuming the duties of a head coach, even if its not official just yet.

Peterson will be recommended to replace former coach John Snyder at the June 24 School Board Meeting.

The Athletic Administration at Chesterton will be recommending Mark Peterson for the head football coaching job at the next board meeting, Chesterton Athletic Director Garry Nallenweg said. Mark stood out as someone who is part of our program and has been a head coach in the past at Portage and Bishop Noll. Hes familiar with the Duneland Athletic Conference and knows what it takes to be successful.

Peterson has been a member of the Chesterton staff for the past three seasons after a three-year stint as head coach at Portage where he complied a 17-15 record (2007-2009). He was also head coach at Bishop Noll to the tune of 18-15 (2004-2006).

Im very excited, Peterson said. To have an opportunity to take over a program like Chesterton, Im ecstatic for the chance.

Peterson replaces Snyder, a long-time friend.

A chance to step back into the head coaching role and follow a dear friend like John is very important to me, Peterson said. John is a lifelong friend and to have coached with him for three years and now to try to keep going what he did is exciting and re-energizing.

Peterson took steps toward the head coaching job in the last two weeks, even though the official decision wasnt made until recently.

When John stepped down, the kids needed to still be in the weight room and get the equipment handed out, Peterson said. Ive been through that before, so assuming that responsibility along with the other coaches was the right thing to do.

And that staff should stay in place, although a few additions may happen.

This will be the 4th season with the staff, Peterson said. Im so happy they are staying around. That helps make the transition that much easier for the kids and this is a group of kids that has seen a lot of success the last few years.

Petersons familiarity with the Duneland Athletic Conference also helped.

I think its huge, Peterson said. Ive had an opportunity to be familiar with the other programs we are going to play. The past experiences will be beneficial come game nights and preparing for them. Having been in the program and coached against everyone already certainly helped open some doors.

Peterson began his coaching career in Northwest Indiana as a member of the Valparaiso University staff from 1991-2004.

This is one of the few jobs Ive applied for in this area since I left Portage, Peterson said. Ive grown to understand that being able to evaluate what you do on offense and defense is dependent on what kids you have. You have to adapt your schemes to what you have.

That means fans may, or may not, see the same up-tempo offense with placards being flashed on the sidelines like last year.

Well do some of the same stuff weve been doing offensively and defensively the last few years, Peterson said. I feel good about these kids and well see how things work.

Peterson served as offensive coordinator at Bishop Noll and Portage, along with head coaching duties. Hes not sure if hell fulfill both roles at Chesterton.

Well sit down over the next couple of days as a staff and talk about play-calling and all the things that go along with being on the sidelines, Peterson said. Ill be involved in play-calling as I was at the other schools. I dont know if Ill be offensive coordinator, but Ill be heavily involved in it.

With just about eight weeks until the opener, Peterson did look ahead to opening night against South Bend St. Joe.

The day I dont have butterflies and that feeling in the pit of my stomach is the day I quit, Peterson said. Ill probably be more excited and anxious than nervous though.


Posted 6/14/2013