Paul Peterson joined the Hornet program in January of 2012 and serves as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
During his time leading the Sacramento State offense, the Hornets have produced some of the best numbers in school history. The 2014 team set or tied nine school single season records, including points (458), points per game (38.2), touchdowns (60) and total yards (5,780).
Individually, quarterback Garrett Safron (2011-14) rewrote the school record book during his three years with Peterson. Safron compiled a school record 9,713 passing yards with 86 career touchdowns — 36 more than the previous record. Safron, who was a second team all-Big Sky selection during his final two years, also set school records for career attempts, competitions and competition percentage. He also owns nearly every single-season passing record.
Under Peterson's play-calling, Safron was able to combine his natural running ability with his passing and finished his career with 11,619 yards of total offense. His 2014 average of 353.4 total offense yards per game led the Football Championship Subdivision.
Wide receiver DeAndre Carter also flourished with the Hornet offense. Carter was a first team All-American and a unanimous first team all-Big Sky selection after catching 99 passes for 1,321 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2014. Carter teamed with Nnamdi Agude (70 rec., 1,156 yards) to become the only pair of FCS receivers to each surpass 1,000 yards during the regular season.
In 2015, Shane Harrison was named third team all-league after catching 71 passes for 907 yards and eight touchdowns. Harrison's numbers are more impressive when you realize that the Hornets used five quarterbacks during the season.
In 2013, Safron was named second team all-Big Sky Conference and was a three-time conference player of the week after completing 294-of-460 pass attempts for 3,289 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also broke the single-game record with 554 passing yards at Portland State and seven touchdown passes against Southern Oregon.
Carter and guard Tyler Worthley were named to the all-Big Sky first time while wide receivers Morris Norrise and Shane Harrison earned third team and honorable mention accolades, respectively.
During Peterson's first season with the team (2012), Safron completed 246-of-383 pass attempts for 2,540 yards and 22 touchdowns while starting all 11 games. His .642 completion percentage set the school single-season record while his touchdowns rank second and his yardage total places him third. The offense was also balanced with 13 different Sacramento State players catching passes, led by a career high 60 receptions from Morris Norrise who was a second team all-Big Sky selection.
In four years at Southern Utah, Peterson coached the Thunderbirds' quarterbacks and wide receivers and was also the team's passing game coordinator. During his tenure, he coached three of the most decorated QBs in Southern Utah history. Cody Stone set many of the school's single season and career passing marks in 2008. In 2009, Cade Cooper re-wrote most of the single marks only to be bettered by Brad Sorensen the past two years.
Peterson also coached a pair of Great West Conference MVPs while at SUU. In 2010, wide receiver Tysson Poots earned the honor after catching 85 passes for 1,230 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games. Last season, Sorensen won the award by completing 67.8 percent of his passes (288-425) for 3,143 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Peterson played collegiately at Boston College where he led the Eagles to a pair of bowl victories and was their team MVP for the 2004 season. He was a two-time Big East Conference Player of the Week and was the MVP of the Continental Tire Bowl. Peterson was 12-2 as a starter and finished his career ranked second in career passing percentage at B.C. Off the field, he was a recipient of the Boston College Senior Leadership Award and was named the 2005 Boston College Person of the Year.
Prior to attending Boston College, Peterson was a JC Gridwire All-American and honorable mention academic All-American at Snow College in Utah. As a sophomore, he led all NJCAA players in passing yards and touchdowns.
Following his collegiate career, Peterson played for the Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League. He began his coaching career at Snow College in 2005 as the team's quarterbacks coach. That season, he helped guide the Badgers to a 9-2 overall record, a No. 8 national ranking and a bowl victory.
In 2006, he moved to BYU where he served as an offensive graduate assistant. That season, the Cougars were 11-2 and finished the season ranked 15th nationally after winning the Mountain West Conference and the Las Vegas Bowl.
Peterson spent one season (2007) at North Carolina State as a defensive graduate assistant under Tom O'Brien — his head coach at Boston College.
Peterson graduated from Boston College with a degree in management and added a master's in coaching/athletic administration from Concordia. He is married to the former Meagan Davies and they are the parents of five sons, Owen, Mack, Cal, Emmett and Levi.
Recruiting Area: All high schools and junior colleges in Orange County.