Warhawk football hires new assistant offensive coach

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Warhawk football hires new assistant offensive coach

Kolton Hegstrom, Sports Editor

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The UW-Whitewater football team has announced that Peter Jennings will take over as the offensive coordinator on an interim basis for the 2018 season, and he couldn’t be more excited.

“I don’t know if there is a better coordinating job in the country,” Jennings said.

The Warhawk football team has started spring practices for the 2018 season, and Jennings has taken over the offensive coaching duties. While still under the interim tag Jennings is focused on the here and now, but he hopes to be around for much longer.

“I want people to look back at my time here, whether it’s a month, three months, a year or two decades and I want them to say ‘that guy loved football, that guy loved the kids and that guy worked his tail off,’” Jennings said. “If they can say those three things then I’ve done a pretty good job, and if I can stay for two decades then I’ve done a dang good job.”

Jennings comes over after two years at D-III Rhodes College where he was the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for one season before being promoted to associate head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in his second season. During his tenure at Rhodes College the Lynx went 10-10 while posting the second best scoring and yardage offense in the Southern Athletic Association.

“Pete’s taken over three different offenses and the thing that really impressed me was just to see how those offenses evolved and exploded,” Warhawks head coach Kevin Bullis said. “He is a guy who takes an offense and makes it better.”

On an interim basis, Jennings will fill in the role that was initially filled by Jake Landry who, just a week after accepting the offensive coordinator position for the Warhawks, left to become the Running Backs coach at Northern Illinois University. Landry initially took the position over from Craig Smith, who was the play caller for the past three seasons for the Warhawks.

“We went down the road with Jake (Landry) early on and were really excited about him, but to be honest I’m really excited about the opportunity he got,” UW-W Director of Athletics Todd Garzarelli said. “He got scooped up by a D-I school.”

Before coaching at Rhodes College Jennings spent four years as the offensive coordinator at Carroll University. While at Carroll, Jennings was also the recruiting coordinator, video production coordinator and social media manager. As the recruiting coordinator Jennings was able recruit and coach many talented athletes including the All-American wide receiver Kevin Jennings. UW-W hopes that Peter Jennings can translate this recruiting success to UW-W.

“He has some real Wisconsin ties from a recruiting standpoint,” Garzarelli said.

During his five years at Carroll University the Pioneers went 35-13, including two of the best seasons in program history. Jennings is looking to implement a zone-running scheme and with that there might not be any group he’s more excited to work with than the Warhawks’ offensive that has had at least one All-American for four straight seasons.

“I’m absolutely geeked to work with this O-line,” Jennings said, “There’s a lot of people that want to play football, but there’s not a ton that truly love the game of football. And we have an offensive line group that loves the game of football.”

Jennings is excited to move back to Wisconsin with his wife and two kids and get involved back in Wisconsin D-III football.

“This is where my two kids were born and, even when we lived in Memphis, they always thought Wisconsin was home,” Jennings said.

Also noting that he would always keep an eye on the Warhawks and what they were accomplishing at Perkins Stadium.

“I always knew exactly what Whitewater football was doing, and it was usually winning national championships.” Jennings said.

Jennings will look to help the Warhawks bounce back from a 2017 season that ended with a 7-3 record and UW-W missing the playoffs for the first time since 2012