Petersen leaving Marshall
HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University quarterback coach Tony Petersen has resigned to accept the offensive coordinator job at Louisiana Tech, according to Marshall sources.
That means Marshall will have to face Petersen's offense next season because the Thundering Herd is scheduled to play Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La.
Petersen was one of Herd head coach Doc Holliday's first hires when he put together a staff three football seasons ago. Petersen also carried the titles of assistant head coach and co-offensive coordinator.
Under Petersen's tutelage, Marshall sophomore quarterback Rakeem Cato exploded with a break-through year during the 2012 season. Cato completed 406 of 584 passes for 4,201 yards with 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
That led to Cato earning a bevy of postseason honors, including Conference USA's Most Valuable Player award and also first-team all-league.
As a result, that made Petersen a hot commodity on the coaching market. That's particularly true for schools interested in running a version of the spread offense featuring prolific passing.
That's why hiring Petersen was a no-brainer for new Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz.
Under former Bulldogs coach Sonny Dykes, Louisiana Tech had one of the most high-octane offenses in the nation in 2012. The school obviously wanted to maintain that status.
The problem was Holtz's offenses at East Carolina and South Florida were conservative, which meant he needed to find an offensive mind to run a fast-paced offense.
He found his man in Petersen.
Now, Holtz can continue Louisiana Tech's offensive tradition and Petersen gets to call the plays, which he didn't do at Marshall.
So, how does Marshall replace Petersen?
Actually, there are two options within the Herd's current coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Bill Legg, who calls the plays and coaches the tight ends, was offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Florida International in 2008-09.
Then, there's running back coach JaJuan Seider, who was a star quarterback at Florida A&M after transferring from West Virginia University.
Seider earned All-American honors and won the Doug Williams Award for National Offensive Player of the Year and the Jake Gaither Award (considered the Heisman Trophy of black colleges) following a spectacular senior year at Florida A&M where he passed for 2,512 yards and 27 touchdowns.
He was also named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year and was selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers.