If you have ever had the opportunity to meet Coach Peveto, you know that he is a very high-energy guy. Currently, midway through his fourth season with the Cougars he is also the position coach for our safeties, including All C-USA Free Safety Hanik Milligan. I recently spent a little time with him between recruiting and game preparation to bring his story and views to CoogFans.
DD – I know that you come from a family of coaches, tell us a little about how you got into coaching and did you ever consider doing anything else beside coaching?
BDP – No, I grew up as a field house rat, I've been coaching or preparing to be a coach all my life. As far back as I can remember I was hanging out at the field house. It is a way of life. I've been the water boy, the stat guy, the chart guy, I was riding the bus to every JV game on Thursday and every Varsity game on Friday until I was old enough to play the game. I grew up knowing that I was going to be a coach, of course at that time I was thinking high school, but when I got to college I was really infatuated with the whole college arena and that level of coaching, I knew that was what I wanted to do. Out of SMU I had several very good high school coaching offers, but I decided to go the graduate assistant route and had a full-time college coaching position in 18 months. Going this route worked out very well for me, I enjoy the recruiting, I enjoy the coaching, I love my high school coaches. I really enjoy going out and meeting with the other coaches around the state as I recruit, it is one big fraternity out there. The high school coaches and college coaches are a great group of guys to know and like I said it is just one big fraternity and I like being a part of that a lot. Coaching is just a lot of fun, it is a great way to make a living. It is a lot of work and it is not always easy, we put in a lot of hours and we are not always at home, we work on the road a lot, especially when recruiting.
In coaching there are no shortcuts to get it done, there are no easy ways out, no quick fixes in teaching the detail that you must do. It is hard to take things to another level without hard work. I bet that if you look at the great doctors, the great lawyers or any other profession, the guys who work the hardest and often with long hours are the successful ones. The thing about coaching, well, there are some jobs, say an insurance salesman, I think some of those guys get to where their business just kind of runs itself, but in coaching you never get that luxury, you have to prove yourself every year. Look at recruiting, I'm a veteran recruiter, I've been out there around 15 years, but if I say, hey, I'm not going to call, I'm not going to write, some young guy with fire in his belly is going to shoot me off that high-wire. The coaching business changes from year to year, you have to stay ahead of the posse. You look at some of the great coaches with success over a long period of time and then they go .500 for a season and they are on the hot seat.
DD - Our new Senior Associate AD John Robinson was a player at SMU. Did you play together?
BDP – Yes, we played together at SMU.
DD – How did you end up playing for SMU?
BDP – They recruited me out of high school, Ron Meyer then left and Bobby Collins, who had recruited me for Southern Miss, got the job at SMU and contacted me again. I got to play for that same staff all four years that I was there.
DD – It has got to be a little tough being an SMU alum after all that the program has been through?
BDP – Well, yes it has been, they have had to recruit with a short stick for a long time now. They brought in Coach Phil Bennett and he was a great hire. I think that he will do an excellent job for them, he has a passion for the game, is a great recruiter and a fair guy. As a fan, I love that choice and hey, he is a defensive coach, you have to love those defensive guys moving on up. Any time a defensive guy gets the big job you just have to grin. You can't win games 7-0 any more though, with the hash marks moved in, the legalized holding, when you play man the way they throw the flag, it makes it tough to keep the score down with those three things working against the defense. It is hard to play man-to-man with these rules, if you bump into them the officials are going to throw the flag.
DD - How often are we in the zone versus the man?
BDP – We have been a zone team, but we are mixing in a little more man defense. We've been banged up at the corners and players some young corners, they have been in great positions, they just haven't made the play on the deep ball. If you go back and look at the Army film, we were in good position, we just didn't go up and get it. We work the heck out of the deep ball everyday. You know the old cheer "Jump ball, Jump ball, Get it, Get it", well, we just didn't get it. They out jumped us, they had a height advantage, but there is a fine line there and they came down with the jump ball. We had them covered, they just used their height well on those plays.
DD – Since you arrived here at UH, compare the changes
you have seen in defensive backs. Are we better now, stayed the same, gotten worse?
BDP – We have good kids, sometimes there is just a fine line in making a play or not. We have had a bad last several quarters in this regard. We were in a slump and banged up. It's like you and I getting up and trading licks in the face, eventually somebody is going to win. Game after game, there is always something that you can draw a line in the dirt and say ‘We've got to get better at this now'. We have gone back and re-emphasized the jump ball, the deep ball and making plays. Even though we work on these things everyday the defensive backs just have to make plays and we have not done that as well as we are capable in the last few games. Go back and look at TCU, we intercepted two balls in that game and played well in the secondary. We just have to decide that we are going to continue to improve and get better everyday. You can't put a big star on everything each week, you work on what you are good at and you work even harder on what you need to improve on. Today we are going to do some individual work, what do you think we are going to work on?
DD - How are the young corners from North Shore, Willie Gaston and Xavier Lane doing?
BDP – Xavier is a good kid that walked on and prop'ed, we are working on getting his deal straightened out. Willie is going to play as a corner for us, Xavier can play corner or safety. We have Tyson Davis as well and all three of these kids can really help us out, they are players.
DD – What about Will Gulley and Brian Hodges?
BDP – Will Gulley and Brian Hodges are excellent players, both of them are safeties. Gulley most likely will play free safety, a lot of it is just the numbers, but they are both tremendous athletes and we are really looking forward to getting them in there.
DD – Tell me a little about the injuries that have plagued us this season?
BDP – Yeah, we have been banged up. Roland Cola has had a hamstring, Victor Malone was nursing a real bad shoulder and Delenell Reid has had a high ankle strain since the Texas game.
DD - UAB was a tremendous setback for the fans and, I'm sure, for the team as well. Can you explain to the fans what happened that day and is it something that can be corrected?
BDP – You know what, you just have to finish and we didn't finish in that game. When you get up like that you can't come out and play tight and that is what happened in my opinion. We just came out tight and didn't play as loose as we did in the first half and it caught up to us. A couple of things happened on both sides of the ball and we were already a little tight. We have to keep our focus and stay loose when we have the lead.
DD – How is the recruiting trail been here of late?
BDP – We are being received very well. Houston is still considered big-time football to a lot of folks out there. Like Dana has said, if we can recruit after going 0-11, we will be just fine. You look at most of the great turnarounds, they happen in the fifth year when you have your first class out there as seniors. This is our third year, we could be a 6-1 team right now with a couple of breaks. The fans want to win and we do as well, but you can't judge anything until that fifth year. Look at the successful programs, they are doing it with fourth and fifth year players. Look at Virginia Tech, Beamer was 24-46 into his sixth season, since then they have had ten win seasons and a bowl game every year, but it took six years. He now has that foundation layed and that program is doing really well. Dana is a great head coach, he has done a great job with the high school coaches, but there is a timetable there. It is just like anything else, if you contract a guy to build a house for you and you give him a year, then you come back after four months and want to know why it isn't finished. Of course you want it sooner, we all want it sooner, but there is a five-year plan.
Coach thanks for spending some time with me this morning, it has been a real pleasure as always getting your views. Good luck this weekend with East Carolina.
Eat ‘Em Up!