The Tyler Peterson Era Begins in Brandon
Playing the waiting game, anticipation, anxiousness – sometimes these feelings can make a little-while seem like a lifetime and these have been the feelings for over six weeks in Brandon, MS as their residents, booster club members and football players have waited ever so patiently to find out who their next head football coach would be and who would lead the Bulldogs into 2015 and beyond.
That wait is finally over as the Bulldogs tabbed Tyler Peterson as their head man moving forward.
Peterson, who is one of the younger coaches in Mississippi high school football, brings an impressive resume to East Rankin County and a quiet but confident demeanor; one that has made him a winner at every stop he has made in his career.
I had the opportunity to sit down with the new head football coach of the Bulldogs and here is what he had to say.
Q – Congratulations on becoming the head coach of the Brandon Bulldogs. First off coach, talk a little about what this job means to you and where you think this job ranks in terms of 6A football in Mississippi and Mississippi high school football in general.
A – Well I think the program is definitely up there among the top in the state. What they’ve been able to accomplish the last five years and the way the community has rallied around that – I would say they are definitely at the top.
Brandon plays in the toughest region in the state year in and year out in Region 3-6A and they’ve been able to hold their own which speaks volumes for the program.
Q – You’ve got a super impressive resume when talking about stops in college as a player and coach, winning a state championship at Noxapater in 2011. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about coaching football?
A – Be who you are and try not to be anyone else. I’ve been fortunate to have been around great players and great coaches in this profession and that’s where the credit goes. I think you achieve more when you are yourself.
Q – I have to ask this only because I know some would want to know. Your cousin Brad did big things as a Bulldog during his time in Brandon. Following in his footsteps here, was that an issue or concern when deciding to take this job or is it something that never really became a factor.
A – No it didn’t. Any time you come to a job there’s unique situations. I’m excited to come into a program that’s established the way it is, and I look forward to building on top of that.
Q – Let’s talk a little football specifics here, what type of coach is Tyler Peterson when talking about schemes. Do you have a set scheme on offense and defense or do you adhere to the fact to design and tweak around your skill set?
A – We are going to do what our talent allows us to do. We are going to put our players in positions to be successful. I’ve been around a lot of different offenses and defenses, so the players are the ones that make or break those.
I won’t come in here with a mindset of “this is what we are going to do”, we will evaluate and they already have a great coaching staff here at Brandon that knows our kids and I think that’s a huge advantage to have these coaches already here.
It’s a lot easier for one guy to adjust than when everybody is new coming in. I’m just gonna be a fly on the wall and see how they do things, then I’ll make whatever small changes I think are necessary.
Q – Typically when a coach takes another job, for the most part it’s a rebuild – not only a rebuild from a wins – loss stand point, but a rebuild in the mentality of the program.
You probably had to deal with that at most every stop you’ve made along the way. Here is a little different situation in that these kids are used to success, they’ve tasted success and these young guys have watched their older peers succeed.
There’s a lot of attrition off last year’s team, but the mindset is the same within the program – one town, one team, one dream. How will starting this job be different than a normal rebuild of a program?
A – I think it’s the same concept in coaching; you’re just a little further along here. Now instead of teaching kids how to win, you come in and fine tune it – you find ways to make that engine run a little bit faster and a little bit harder.
Q – Staying with that mantra, not sure if you are aware but fans can be fanatical, (joke) – kidding. But what are realistic expectations for you and the program in 2015?
A – I’ve never been one that sets a win total mark or where we need to be. We just tell our kids, our goal is to get a little better every day. I don’t want to set a ceiling on where we need to be because we may blow that out of the water – then we may have a certain injury or two that sets us back. So – that can change as the year goes along. You take each day, try to figure out where you are going and build off of that.
Q – Anybody told you about the Pearl Rivalry yet? It’s kind of a big deal.
A – (Smiles) A little bit about it. With it being now the last game of the season that will add a little fuel to the fire, but I think the rivalry makes it better on the players, fans and communities.
I think the rivalry adds a great element because not every school has a natural rival so I’m excited to be a part of it.
Q – Finally –Brandon plays at Madison Central in about 35-weeks. Obviously from a media stand point, the focus will be you against Brandon’s former coach (family rivalry), and the story lines and narratives will get hotter through the summer leading up to that game. Is that something you embrace and use as motivation for your team, or as a football team, attack Madison as if it’s just another game?
A – Nah it’s just another ball game. Obviously outside of football we talk a lot and I’m friends with a lot of coaches, but that stops for those few moments on the field. Very seldom are you looking to that other sideline to see what they are doing – as you’re more worried about what’s going on, on the field and with your team.
It will be unique and fun, but at the end of the day, It’s still Brandon versus Madison.
Best of luck coach and thank you for your time.
The Tyler Peterson Profile:
Tyler Peterson – 39-37 with a State Championship in 2011 at Noxapater.
Graduated from Louisville High and played quarterback at the University of North Alabama, where he started as a freshman in 1997. He guided the Lions to impressive winning seasons before taking a job at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2004. One year later, he was back at North Alabama as a graduate assistant.
Thereafter, he took the job as offensive coordinator for the University of Arkansas-Monticello before going back to his alma mater, Louisville High School as its linebacker’s coach in 2007.
He was named head football coach at Noxapater in 2009. There, he had an overall record of 23-15 and coached Noxapater to a Class 1A championship in 2011.
Kosciusko High School hired him as its head coach in 2012. He turned around the 0-11 team he inherited to a 7-6 winner.
In 2014, Coach Peterson led Northwest Rankin back to the playoffs in 6A football for the first time since 2011.