OXFORD, Miss. — The connections between Ole Miss and LSU are expansive.
The ties in this sometimes nasty rivalry are deep.
Bradley Dale Peveto knows. He’s now one of them.
When the 24th-ranked Tigers and unranked Rebels meet Saturday, coach Ed Orgeron plays his former team, yes, but so does Peveto. The 54-year-old east Texas native had two stints on the Tigers staff that spanned seven seasons (2005-08, 14-16).
“It’s a place I got a lot of respect for, a lot of respect for that program, those players and the coaches,” Peveto said. “The weird thing about it is you know everybody so well, but I’m an Ole Miss Rebel.”
He’s here because of a decision in late November of last year.
In accepting the permanent head coaching job at LSU, one of Ed Orgeron’s first acts was to dismiss Peveto as his special teams coordinator, firing the 54-year-old just hours after the school anointed him the full-time leader of the program.
Less than a month later, Ole Miss hired Peveto for the same role. He calls it a “blessing” to have remained in the Southeastern Conference Western Division and, despite a drama-filled few months here, raved about his 10 months in Oxford.
OXFORD, Miss. — Ed Orgeron turned to Pete Carroll, Pete Jenkins and Jimmy Johnson while inte…
Not many coaches nationally have experienced what Peveto has.
He’s now served under four different head coaches, including two interim leaders, in less than a year’s time. Les Miles was fired last September, replaced by Orgeron in the interim. Hugh Freeze resigned in July, replaced by Matt Luke in the interim.
“Four in 10 months is a new one,” he said with a laugh, “but you know what? You just handle it. A lot of times, it’s what the profession deals. You roll with it.”
When LSU (5-2, 2-1) meets Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2) at 6:15 p.m. Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Peveto will have likely recruited more players on the other team than on his current. Peveto signed LSU’s starting kicker, Connor Culp, and he was in on the recruitment of several key contributors for the Tigers.
That list includes right tackle Toby Weathersby, defensive end Rashard Lawrence and safety Eric Monroe, according to 247Sports.com’s database.
This is nothing new for him — playing his old team. Peveto left Kentucky after the 2013 season to return to Miles’ staff. LSU and UK met in 2014, a game the Tigers won 41-3 partially because of Peveto’s special teams unit.
The Tigers returned a punt and kickoff for scores, made two field goals and recovered their own blooping kickoff in that game. Peveto was emotional that night, speaking to a reporter under the Tiger Stadium goal posts, barely audible.
“Any time you line up and play a place you just spent a year and were a part of the groundwork, it’s emotional and it was,” Peveto said then of UK and coach Mark Stoops’ rebuilding effort in Lexington, Kentucky.
This situation is different, of course. He was fired in Baton Rouge.
“It’s like anything else in life. If a situation doesn’t go your way, you just take the high road. That’s always the best way to go,” he said Wednesday night from Ole Miss’ practice facility. “I have nothing but positive things to say about LSU. I had a good seven-year run.
“One thing about coaching, if you look at the profession, somewhere seven years is a long time in the business. You just handle it. You go get another job and you roll.”
Notes on a golf scorecard while I gaze out the window at our beautiful fall weather and lame…