Appalachian State football

BOONE — App State head football coach Shawn Clark has tabbed college coaching veteran Tony Petersen as offensive coordinator for the Mountaineers’ nationally ranked program.

Petersen has directed some of the nation’s most exciting and prolific offenses during his 30-year college coaching career, serving as an offensive coordinator in the Big Ten, MAC, Conference USA and American prior to taking the reins of the offense in Boone.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tony and his family to App State,” Clark said in a statement. “His experience speaks for itself with the success he’s had as an offensive coordinator at several places. He is committed to a dynamic offensive attack and will help us continue to pursue championships and bowl games.”

Petersen spent the 2019 season as an offensive analyst at Missouri after three-year stints coordinating successful offenses at Marshall (2010-12), Louisiana Tech (2013-15) and East Carolina (2016-18).

“I can’t describe how fired up I am to get started at App State,” Petersen said in a statement. “There is such a great football tradition here with great coaches throughout the years, and I’m excited to be a part of the App State family.”

Petersen has helped lead his teams to 12 bowl games, seven conference championships and two FCS national championships throughout his coaching career.

A record-setting quarterback himself at Marshall, he went on to coach two different stints at his alma mater from 1991-99 and again from 2010-12. During his first stint, the Thundering Herd qualified for the postseason eight straight times, winning FCS national titles in 1992 and 1996 and Mid-American Conference titles in both 1997 and 1998 after the school moved up to the FBS level.

Petersen served as wide receivers coach in 1992 and directly worked with eventual three-time Super Bowl Champion Troy Brown. Petersen coached quarterbacks for five of his eight years at Marshall and was offensive coordinator in 1998, mentoring future NFL quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich in that capacity.

With future NFL star receiver Randy Moss as his favorite target in 1997, Pennington broke the NCAA record for touchdown passes by a sophomore with 39 and set a MAC record with 3,480 yards passing.

During his three years at ECU’s offensive coordinator, he directed some of the best offenses in school history and a top-20 passing offense in the country all three seasons. In 2016, the Pirates ranked sixth in passing and 23rd in total offense among all FBS teams.

As a player at Marshall, Petersen was named the 1988 Southern Conference Athlete of the Year and the SoCon Offensive Player of the Year in 1987 after leading the Herd to the Division I-AA national championship game with a school-record 35 touchdown passes.

He set 16 SoCon single-season and career standards in passing and total offense to go along with six Marshall single-season school marks before signing with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent in 1989 and then entering the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at Kentucky in 1990.

Petersen went to Marshall after a stellar career at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif. A native of Lodi, Calif., he was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the Major League Baseball Draft after his first year at Delta.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management and marketing in 1990 and master’s degree in administration in 1995, both from Marshall.

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