Today, Dan Mullen announced longtime high school football coach Brad Peterson as the new director of player personnel for Mississippi State football. Peterson has an extensive resume and background in the state of Mississippi’s prep ranks and will assume a significant role in MSU’s recruiting efforts on campus, including the heading up of summer camps. Check out the full release here with more information on his background in football.
Yesterday, I had a chance to sit down for a quick chat with Peterson about himself and his position at MSU. The following is the full Q&A session.
Question: The first thing everybody brings up when they talk about you is what a personable guy you are and that relationships are your big thing. Where does that come from?
Answer: I am a relationship guy. I think, growing up in Mississippi, that’s who we are. We’re a relationship state. We grew up in a big family between here and Louisville on Highway 25 and it’s the way we were raised, to be good people.
Q: All the experience you have with a lengthy resume in high school football in the state of Mississippi, what does that do for you as you take on this role at MSU?
A: I think it goes back to those relationships I’ve developed over the years. I’ve been at five schools as head coach and athletic director and I’ve met a lot of people. I’ve been the Chairman for football for the Mississippi State Association of Coaches for numerous years. I’ve had to deal with coaches and all-stars games, so pretty much every coach in the state I’ve had to deal with at some time, in a good way, because it’s all-star games. The coaching fraternity in Mississippi is a close-knit group. They’re your friends other than Friday nights for about three hours.
I’ve been able to establish a lot of relationships, and I think coming in here to a recruiting aspect, I’ll be able to talk to those guys and know what’s going on in the state. I’ve met coaches and developed relationships with coaches out of state. I think all that is going to bring a positive spin to our recruiting efforts.
Q: With everywhere you’ve been and everything you’ve done in the state, you’ve obviously had interactions with Dan Mullen and his staff pretty regularly. What made this an attractive opportunity for you and a group you wanted to work with?
A: The last seven years, I’ve been coming to Mississippi State and visiting, sitting in on meetings, watching film with them, developing relationships not only with Coach Mullen, but with the rest of the staff. I think they feel comfortable with me and me with them. At the same time, you look at what Coach Mullen and his staff have done: got winning a record in the Egg Bowl, won 19 games the last two years. All of that is huge and it tells you the program is going in the right direction. As a coach, like me, you want to be a winner. You want to be around winners. That’s what I know we have here at Mississippi State. I’m excited to be a part of it.
Q: So, looking at everything you’re going to have your hand in, your imprint on the program will be evident pretty soon. What things do you want to bring to MSU?
A: In this department, I want us to think outside the box. What can we do new, different and better? In our first staff meeting, I told our recruiting team, we’ve got the same goal as everyone else, and that’s to win. We’ve got to find a way to win. Right now, that means winning in recruiting to help lead to winning on the field. We all benefit from winning. That’s our biggest thing. We’ve got find new ways. We’ve got to figure out what’s worked, then keep doing that. We’ve got to figure out what has not worked and fix that, and at the same time find ways to get creative and go after it. Of course, at the end of the day, you’re going to win with smart, hard work and we’ve got to figure out the best way to do that, make sure there’s great communication between our recruiting team and our coaching staff for this all to flow smoothly.