Football is more than just a sport; it’s a career.
This is true in the case of Braden Peterson, a senior business administration major from Draper, who has always loved football, and now has the opportunity to continue working with the sport after he graduates in May.
Peterson was recently given the position of offensive coordinator for Southern Virginia University and will begin coaching for the 2018 season.
Although he has been playing tackle football since he was 9-years-old, Peterson said he’s always loved the idea of coaching.
“When I got back from my [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] mission, everything I wanted to do was to be able to help better people,” Peterson said. “I didn’t care if it was so much ‘spiritually’ anymore. I felt like I had done that part of my life, but it was about just putting people in better positions. I knew I could help change people’s lives, and I knew coaching was a way that I wanted to do that.”
Before coming to Dixie State University, Peterson attended SVU for a year and played for the football team before leaving to go on an LDS mission. After returning from his mission, Peterson wasn’t sure he would be able to play again, but he heard about Dixie State University through friends and decided to try out, Peterson said.
Four years later, things turned out better than he ever could have expected.
Ed Malitalo, SVU football head coach, said he chose Peterson to fill the position for two reasons: one he attended SVU and knowing he started there and understands the university, and what it stands for made a huge difference and because of his ability to play multiple positions and play them well.
Malitalo said his versatility on the field will transfer nicely as a coach because he knows the ins-and-outs of every position on the offensive line.
Keola Loo, DSU offensive line coach, agreed and said Peterson was one of the smarter players he’s been lucky enough to teach in his two years here at DSU.
Loo also said one of Peterson’s strongest attributes is his ability to direct traffic during a play. He said this was the type of thing that made Peterson a great player and will carry over to make him a great coach.
“A lot of people will say 90 percent of football you absolutely hate, but there is 10 percent that you love and if that 10 percent is loved more than that 90 percent of hate, you’re gonna do it for a long time, and I think that’s probably what happened to me,” Peterson said.