DeRuyter announces first seven hires to his coaching staff
Jordan Peterson is in his third season serving as a secondary coach at Fresno State. He was hired on Jan. 4, 2012. Peterson's responsibilities include coaching the Bulldog cornerbacks, assisting with special teams, spearheading the teams academics, and coordinating summer camps.
Fresno State's secondary flourished in Peterson's first season working with the unit. The Bulldogs ranked second nationally in pass defense in 2012, allowing just 167.2 passing yards per game, and were fourth in pass efficiency defense.
The Bulldogs also ranked third in the FBS with 22 interceptions. Strong safety Phillip Thomas led the FBS in interceptions with eight and Derron Smith tied for sixth nationally with six picks.
Thomas went on to garner unanimous All-America accolades, becoming the first Bulldog in school history to gain unanimous All-America status. He was also one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, won the 2012 CFPA Defensive Back Trophy and was the 2012 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.
Smith joined Thomas on the All-Mountain West first-team while Fresno State's two starting corners in 2012, L.J. Jones and Sean Alston, were both honorable mention selections. Smith followed up his 2012 season with seven more interceptions in 2013, a figure that tied for fourth nationally, to repeat as a first-team All-MW pick.
Alston tied for 17th nationally with five interceptions in 2012 and Jones ranked third in the Mountain West with 13 pass breakups.
Jones went on to earn honorable mention All-MW honors in 2013, despite missing the last five games of the season with a knee injury.
Prior to joining the Fresno State staff, Peterson was a defensive graduate assistant coach at Texas A&M in 2010 and 2011. With the Aggies, Peterson was responsible for game preparation and scouting as well as working with the secondary.
A former cornerback with Texas A&M, Peterson played in 35 games over his four-year career from 2006-09 and he made 15 starts. Peterson recorded 81 tackles in his career, broke-up 15 passes, had two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and four interceptions, including one that he returned 48 yards for a touchdown against New Mexico as a junior in 2008.
Peterson was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 first-team honoree and in 2008 he was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-Region VI team.
Peterson received his bachelor's degree in sport management from Texas A&M in 2009 along with his master's in education curriculum and instruction in 2010.
He graduated from Lexington (Texas) High School, where he earned first-team all-state honors as a defensive back and honorable mention honors as a quarterback his senior year. He was named Texas Prep Xtra Central Texas MVP (all classifications) and Class 2A Player of the Year as a senior.
Peterson was born on Aug. 18, 1987 in Brenham, Texas and is married to the former Melissa Gordon and the couple had their first daughter, Ellie, in early April 2014.