Defensive line coach Pete Jenkins to retire

Pete Jenkins, who spent 13 years as a member of the LSU football coaching staff, announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Jenkins, who coached for a total of 34 years at nine different schools at the collegiate level, had two coaching stints for the Tigers. Jenkins coached at LSU from 1980 to 1990 and was then hired back by current Tiger coach Nick Saban prior to the 2000 season.


"The time that Donna and I have spent at LSU have been the happiest and most rewarding of our lives," Jenkins said. "My hope in coming back to LSU was totry to be as helpful to Coach Saban as possible in getting the Tigers back to their rightful place in college football. I feel that LSU is on more solid ground than ever before. I am especially appreciative to Coach Saban for giving me a chance to come back to the place I love so much to finish my coaching career.


"In nearly 40 years of coaching, both at the collegiate and high school level, I have been blessed to have been associated with some outstanding people and been fortunate to coach and a be a part of so many young men's lives. That is why this has been one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make."


Jenkins served as LSU's defensive line coach from 1980 to 1990 and then again during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. Jenkins also handled the defensive coordinator duties for the Tigers in 1982 and then again from 1987-89. He was assistant head coach from 1980-84 and in 1990.


During his stay with the Tigers, Jenkins help lead LSU to three Southeastern Conference titles and to three appearances in the Sugar Bowl. Jenkins also coached 18 Tigers to All-SEC honors and 29 of his former players advanced into professional football.


"Pete has done a fantastic job in terms of coaching, teaching, developing players and recruiting in the two years that he's been a part of this staff," Saban said. "Not only has Pete done a good job in the two year's that he's been with us, but he's done a great job for LSU for 13 years. Even though we're disappointed at Pete's decision to retire, it doesn't come as a surprise because when I hired him he said he would coach for two or three years."


A 1964 graduate of Western Carolina, Jenkins played football there for two years before starting his coaching career at Warner-Robbins High School in Georgia as an assistant coach. Jenkins spent time at two more high schools before joining Troy State's staff in 1968 when the Trojans won the NAIA national title.


Jenkins also served on staffs at North Alabama (1971-72), South Carolina  (1973-74), Southern Mississippi (1975-77), Oklahoma State (1978), Florida (1979), Mississippi State (1991-95) and Auburn (1996-98).


A native of Macon, Ga., Jenkins is married to the former Donna Reece and they have two children, Jennifer and Jeff.


The Pete Jenkins File

Years at LSU: 13

Birthdate: August 27, 1941, at Macon, Ga.

Wife: former Donna Reece

Children: Jennifer, Jeff

High School: Hawkins High School (Macon, Ga.)

College: Western Carolina '64


Coaching Career:

1964-65 Warner-Robbins (Ga.) HS (assistant coach)

1965-67 Columbus (Ga.) Baker HS (assistant coach)

1967-68 Phenix City (Ala.) HS (head coach)

1968-70 Troy State (defensive coordinator)

1971-72 North Alabama (defensive coordinator)

1973-74 South Carolina (defensive ends)

1975-77 Southern Mississippi (defensive coordinator)

1978 Oklahoma State (defensive line)

1979 Florida (defensive line)

1980-90 LSU (defensive line 1980-90; defensive coordinator 1982, 1987-89; assistant head coach 1980-84, 1990)

1991-95 Mississippi State (defensive line)

1996-98 Auburn (defensive line)

2000- 2001 LSU (defensive line)


A personal message from Pete Jenkins (Feb. 13, 2002;

"This is a message for the LSU Tiger Fans, the best fans in college football:

As you might know, I have retired as the Tigers' defensive line coach. This decision was not an easy one for and to be honest, Donna and I have shed many a tear over it.

Our hope in coming back was to try and be as helpful as we could to coach Saban in putting the Tigers back in their rightful place in college football. We feel LSU is on more solid ground than we have ever known it to be. The right chancellor, the right A.D., the right head football coach and a lot of good young men who are good football players.

As our coaching career has spanned five decades, we feel so blessed to have had such great experiences, been associated with outstanding people and have been fortunate to have been a part of so many young men's lives.

We are now looking forward to the fourth quarter of our lives and hope to enjoy some of the things we have never been able to do. Many of you are aware that I've been a rabid Tiger fan since childhood, thanks to WWL Radio on Saturday nights. It has truly been a dream come true to have a chance to serve the Tigers not once, but twice.

The 14 years at LSU have been our happiest and most rewarding. I will always be grateful to Jerry Stovall for the opportunity to come to LSU, and to Bill Arnsparger and Mike Archer for keeping us on their staffs. We are especially appreciative to Coach Saban for giving us a chance to come back to the place we love so much and finish our 37 years of coaching.

And to you friends, acquaintances and fans of LSU, we say "Thank You" from the bottom of our hearts. Thanks for the support, friendship, kindness and caring you gave to us. Thanks for making my family always feel such a part of everything and so welcome.

We will miss you, but always know we will be Fighting Tigers at heart and Louisiana will always be thought of as home.


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