Cats lose coach to Buckeyes

University of Arizona assistant football coach John Peterson has resigned from his position on Mike Stoops' staff to take a job at his alma mater, Ohio State. Peterson had been centers and guards coach for the Wildcats since early January.

"We thank J.P. for all the hard work he's put in. He's been a real asset to our staff and I hate to lose him, but it's a great opportunity for him to go back to his alma mater and coach football," Stoops said.

Stoops said he would "take my time to fill the spot. We plan to make no decision until after spring ball," which ends Saturday with Arizona's Spring Game. "We want to hire the best possible coach to do the things we want to do with our offense this year," he said.

Peterson, 36, is a 1991 Ohio State graduate who later worked as a graduate assistant in 1992-93 in Columbus. He is an Ohio native and a member of the Middletown High School Hall of Fame. He lettered three years as a Buckeye offensive lineman, from 1998-2000.

He will coach tight ends and serve as recruiting coordinator under Jim Tressel at OSU, according to Ohio State spokeman Steve Snapp.

He joined Stoops' staff after five years at Miami (Ohio) University, and also coached at Cincinnati and Akron in his home state.

Peterson and Eric Wolford have been collaborating on coaching UA's offensive line under new offensive coordinator Mike Canales. Stoops said the staff would have little difficulty completing the final four spring practices without a 10th staff member, and that he would decide whether the new coach would slot directly into Peterson's guard-centers position.


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