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    Friday, October 06, 2006

    FSU Retro Look Back: Bill Peterson

    I know FSU fans of today find it hard to believe that there were other FSU football coaches. One of the most innovative of those was coach Bill Peterson who coached at FSU from 1960-1970. It was during his era that I became a lifelong FSU fan. Who can forget Steve Tensi, the QB, and receiver Fred Biletnikoff. This duo was as exciting as any in college football. Coach Peterson had an innovative offense that drew fans like myself to watch FSU. I remember going with my father to watch FSU in 1968 play Houston in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, my hometown. It was an exciting game and FSU won 40-20.

    His teams were the first to beat the Gators. First to win a major bowl game. First to finish in the Top 25 (#11 in 1964). "Coach Pete" even planted the seeds of a future dynasty when he added a young Bobby Bowden to his staff.

    During the Bill Peterson era, the stadium was also expanded to 40,500 seats, and it remained at that capacity for the next 14 years. Coach Peterson is in the FSU Hall of Fame and in 1993 lost his battle with cancer.


    RedNeckoBlogger said...

    I had privilege to have a conversation with Coach Peterson in 1989. I personally thanked him for the '64 season... which was the breakout year for FSU football! (9-1-1, first ever win over UF, 16-7... capped by Gator Bowl win over Oklahoma, 36-19)

    He said when he came to FSU, he knew he would not be able to compete with recruiting traditional talent of SEC schools... and at the time "we didn't recruit the black athlete". So he told me “I figured if I could find a fellow who could throw it... and few who could catch it, we could compete”.

    How true! But often overlooked in the flashy passing game was a stout defense... (the 1964 team allowed only 85 points in 11 games). Also, he was well known as mentor to many future successful coaches in college and NFL (lookitup). But most endearing was his mangling of the King’s English (that often hid his brilliance)! Long time FSU fans remember the most notable “Tucker Fredrickson” incident on his Sunday TV, show in 1963... done live in those days! God love him!

    Alice Thomas said...
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