Peterson with the Atlanta Falcons
|Title||Outside linebackers coach|
|Born||June 17, 1976|
|Alma mater||University of Florida|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|2016–present||South Carolina (OLB)|
Porter Michael Peterson (born June 17, 1976) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the outside linebackers coach at the University of South Carolina. Peterson played college football at the University of Florida, where he was a member of a national championship team and earned All-American honors. He was a second-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft and played professionally for thirteen seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League.
Peterson accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and played for coach Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators football team from 1995 to 1998. He was a member of the 1996 Gators team that finished 12–1 and won the Bowl Alliance national championship by defeating the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles 52–20 in the Sugar Bowl. Peterson started twenty-four of forty-two games in which he played, posted 249 tackles, three forced fumbles, thirteen tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks. As a senior team captain in 1998, he was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection and a first-team All-American, and was selected as the Gators' most valuable player by his teammates.
College awards and honors
- 2× SEC Championship (1995, 1996)
- Bowl Alliance National Championship (1996)
- First-team All-SEC (1998)
- First-team All-American (1998)
- University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame
The Indianapolis Colts selected Peterson in the second round (thirty-sixth pick overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft, and he played for the Colts for four seasons from 1999 to 2002. Peterson also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars for the six seasons from 2003 to 2008 when he and coach Jack del Rio had a verbal altercation during a team meeting.
Peterson played for the Atlanta Falcons from 2009 to 2012. On March 13, 2012, he became an unrestricted free agent, but re-signed with the Falcons on July 23, 2012. Peterson again became an unrestricted free agent in 2013.
NFL awards and honors
Upon retirement from the NFL, Peterson returned to the University of Florida in 2013 to complete his undergraduate degree. He first worked as an undergraduate assistant coach on the Gators strength and conditioning staff then took over as its coordinator in 2014 after graduating.
Peterson and his wife established the Mike Peterson Foundation in 2004. The foundation was constituted in an attempt to support and benefit under-served youth and socio-economically challenged families in Peterson's hometown of Alachua, Florida and his NFL cities of Jacksonville and Atlanta. Since its inception, the Mike Peterson Foundation has already served over 15,000 youth and families through several community events and programs, most notably the Top Dog Readers Club literacy program at the Grove Park Elementary School in Atlanta.
Peterson is the older brother of former Chicago Bears running back Adrian Peterson and cousin of former NFL wide receiver Freddie Solomon. Peterson is married to his wife Chantal and they have two sons: Mike, Jr. and Gavin.
- Florida Gators
- Florida Gators football, 1990–99
- List of Florida Gators football All-Americans
- List of Florida Gators football players in the NFL
- List of University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame members
- Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Mike Peterson. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
- databaseFootball.com, Players, Mike Peterson Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
- 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 89, 94, 97, 98, 99, 103, 125, 149, 153, 185 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- University of South Carolina, Mike Peterson. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- "Mike Peterson Named Outside Linebackers Coach," University of South Carolina (January 26, 2016). Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
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- National Football League, Draft History, 1999. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- National Football League, Current Players, Mike Peterson. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Chris Mortensen, "Peterson Not Allowed to Practice Again; Benching or Suspension Likely," ESPN (November 6, 2008). Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- D. Orlando Ledbetter, "Three key Falcons' starters become free agents," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 13, 2012). Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- D. Orlando Ledbetter, "Which free agents should the Falcons retain?," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (January 31, 2013). Retrieved May 20, 2013.
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- Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
- McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
- Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.