The facts are this: La Salle’s Antoine Peterson hasn’t had much success on the football field as the Lancers’ head football coach. La Salle finished 0-10 last season and are a combined 6-25 in Peterson’s three seasons as head coach since taking over Ealar Gallagher. Those numbers undoubtedly would make any coach at any level wonder about his job security, but not Peterson.
Anthony Harris, the newly-hired athletic director at La Salle, said Monday in an interview that he gave Peterson his full support. In fact, Harris will join Peterson’s staff as offensive coordinator. And that’s just the beginning.
“We haven’t had a lot of success but we’re getting ready to do something special,” Peterson said.
Harris, who will takeover duties from John Matheus on July 1, said he felt comfortable offering his support despite the Lancers finishing 0-10 last season.
“As a new athletic director coming in I knew he was here,” Harris siad, “but I didn’t want to be a part of the decision on whether coach stayed or went, because I didn’t have an opportunity to evaluate him.
“Then when I met with him after getting the position I felt comfortable supporting him as the athletic director and helping the program as the offensive coordinator. I feel like i can mentor him. I feel like I can find a dynamite staff that’s going to help him take a step back from being defensive coordinator and focus on being a head coach, and getting quality guys as football coaches to really get it done for him.”
La Salle returns 19 from last year’s team, including 15 from the JV team that won the league championship. Also returning are the eight sophomores who started last season.
Peterson said he’ll bring “four or five new guys” and added “we’ll keep five guys who have been loyal to me.” Peterson went on to say that Harris wanted him to be the defensive coordinator.
“But I really didn’t want to do that,” Peterson explained. “He understood where I was coming from. I really want to oversee the program. I don’t want to be tied down as far as calling the game because I have to take you back to last season. I was really never in the flow of the game. I like to oversee everything and run it the way it’s supposed to be run.”
Peterson said the school is close on bringing the new coaches. As for having Harris on board, Peterson said it was a natural fit.
“There’s is a trust factor with Harris on the offensive side of the ball,” Peterson said. “I see big things coming. I guess you have to go through things to become something.”
More on Harris’ hiring in Tuesday’s paper…