HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall football team has lost one of the architects of its high-powered offense to Louisiana Tech.
According to sources, Thundering Herd co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tony Petersen is leaving to become the offensive coordinator for new Louisiana Tech Coach Skip Holtz. Holtz took that job in December after being fired from the University of South Florida after three seasons.
Bill Legg joined Petersen as co-offensive coordinator. Marshall's defensive coordinator position remains open, as former coordinator Chris Rippon resigned the day after the Herd's season-ending loss at East Carolina.
Petersen, a record-setting former Marshall quarterback himself, returned to the Herd in January 2010 as assistant head coach, co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In 2012, Marshall was sixth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total offense (534.25 yards per game) and first in passing offense (365.08 ypg). Quarterback Rakeem Cato was named Conference USA's most valuable player after leading the FBS in passing yards per game (350.08) and completions per game (38.83).
"It's easy knowing I don't have a quarterback coach that played somewhere else or didn't play football at all," Cato said earlier this season. "My quarterback coach played here at Marshall and he knows what it takes to win. He played so great at this level and also had the opportunity to play at the next level."
Petersen spent from 1991-98 as receivers coach, then quarterbacks coach, then as offensive coordinator in 1998. He then had stints as an assistant at Minnesota (1999-2006), Iowa State (2007-08) and South Dakota (2009) before returning to Marshall.
As a Herd quarterback, Petersen was named the 1987 Southern Conference offensive player of the year and the 1988 conference athlete of the year . He still owns the Herd's single-season record for passing yards with 4,902.