From high school to the Super Bowl
Even though the Saints didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, at least a coach with Louisiana ties won it all.
After the Philadelphia Eagles stunned the football world by beating the reigning champs New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl 52, the announcer pointed out the fact that nine years ago head coach Doug Pederson was a high school coach.
In fact, he was the head football coach of the Calvary Baptist Academy Cavaliers in Shreveport.
He was hired there in 2005 after spending 10 years in the NFL and three season in the World League of American Football.
The Cavaliers earned four playoff berths, including two state semifinal appearances in Pederson’s four seasons.
In his third season at Calvary, the Cavaliers ascended to the top of the Class 2A poll, won the school’s first district title in football and finished the regular season undefeated including a win over Evangel to end the Eagles’ 89-game streak of district wins.
“My time at Calvary gave me an opportunity to teach football; to see if that’s what I wanted to do with my career,” Pederson said in a recent newspaper interview.
“Ultimately, it got me back in the National Football League. It’s shaped me, molded the way I think and the way I handle our business on a daily basis.”
In 2009, Pederson left Calvary to be the the offensive quality control coach with the Eagles.
In 2013, Pederson followed Andy Reid to Kansas City to be the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator.
In 2016, Pederson returned to Philadelphia and in just his second year as an NFL head coach his team are champions.
He had a Louisiana connection before he was Calvary’s coach.
Pederson found his way from Bellingham, Washington to Northeast Louisiana University, (ULM) where he played quarterback from 1987-1990.
During his stellar career with the Indians, Pederson threw for 6,315 yards and 33 touchdowns.
He still ranks second in program history with seven 300-yard performances. In 1989,
Pederson finished 46-of-71 passing for 619 yards and five touchdowns (all school records) at Stephen F. Austin.
NLU won 29 games in Pederson’s four years, including the 1987 national championship and the 1990 Southland Conference Championship.
He played under coaching legends like Don Shula, alongside some of the best to ever take a snap – Dan Marino in Miami and Brett Favre in Green Bay – and earned a Super Bowl ring with the Packers to cap the 1996 season.
With the win, he also became just the fourth person, after Mike Ditka, Tom Flores and Tony Dungy, to earn a championship as both a player and coach.
So back to the trophy presentation and his answer to the question he was asked.
“How do you explain this, that nine years ago you’re coaching in high school and here you are with this trophy?” NBC’s Dan Patrick asked.
Pederson replied, “I can only give the praise to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity and I’m going to tell you something: I’ve got the best players in the world.”
I am sure Calvary Baptist Academy alumni and former players are proud to see one of their coaches step up on the NFL’s biggest stage and be a winner on and off ther field.
At least the Eagles did something the Falcons couldn’t do last year – win the game.