COLUMBUS, Ohio: Former Ohio State offensive lineman John Peterson has returned to his alma mater. Peterson was named today as the Buckeyes tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, succeeding long-time OSU assistant Bill Conley who resigned earlier this month.
"John is an outstanding football coach and is an extremely organized person with great focus on whatever he does," said Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel in making the announcement. "He has extensive ties in Ohio, which will always be our recruiting base, and he is well known nationally. As an Ohio State graduate, I know he is looking forward to coming back to Columbus.
"We will miss Bill Conley, but the addition of John Peterson to our staff means it should be a very smooth transition."
Added offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, "John has worked our camp the past few years and is an outstanding person. All of our coaches know him and have great respect for him as a person and as a teacher."
Peterson has spent the past five football seasons as offensive line coach at Miami (Ohio). After a highly successful 2003 campaign in which the RedHawks posted a 13-1 record and won the Mid-American Conference title, he left Miami in January to become the offensive guards and centers coach at the University of Arizona under Mike Stoops.
His brief stay in Arizona ended, however, when Tressel offered him the opportunity to return to his native state and coach at his alma mater.
"I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work at Arizona under Coach Stoops," Peterson said. "But my goal has always been to one day coach at my alma mater. When Coach Tressel offered me that chance, I knew I was headed back to Ohio. I can't wait to get started."
A native of Middletown, Ohio (where he was coached by Conley), Peterson was a four-year letterman at guard and tackle for the Buckeyes and was the starting left guard as a senior in 1990.
Following his graduation from Ohio State in 1991, Peterson spent two years at the University of Cincinnati as a graduate assistant (1991-92) with the defensive line. He returned to OSU in 1993 in the role of graduate assistant with the offensive line.
After two years in that capacity, he was hired on a fulltime basis at the University of Akron, where he spent four years (1995-98) as the offensive line coach.
In February of 1999, Peterson moved to Miami as offensive line coach. In March of 2001, he was given the added responsibility of running game coordinator.
Peterson and his wife, Michelle, have two sons, Austin (8) and Cole (5).