Bradley Dale Peveto is coming home. Not to stay, but to bring his Northwestern State Football team in to take on the Lamar Cardinals. Peveto is in his third year as head football coach for the Demons.

Peveto is the son of long time Orangefield Athletic Director and football coach Ed (Big Ed) Peveto. Bradley Dale, a 1982 graduate of Orangefield, played football, basketball, and ran track for the Bobcats. He was a two time state champion in the 800 and still is part of three Bobcats track records. He holds the 800 meter record of 1:53.00 set in 1981.

In 1980, he was part of the 1600 meter relay record (Scott Freeland, Dane Quarles, Keith Little) with a time of 3:21.20, and the 3200 meter relay (Keith Little, Paul Peveto, Clay James) with a time of 8:19.37. He was Orange County’s athlete of the year twice in track; in 1980 he shared it with Mark Kelly of Bridge City, and in 1981 he took the honors alone.

After leading the Bobcat football team at quarterback, he took his talents to SMU on a football scholarship. He played for the Mustangs from 1982 to 1986 as a defensive back and special teams player. He played in three bowls for SMU: the 1983 Cotton bowl, defeating Pittsburgh 7-3, the 1983 Sun bowl, losing to Alabama 28-7, and the 1985 Aloha bowl, where they beat Notre Dame 27-20.

In his final season he was elected team captain, Wild Mustang Special Teams player of the year and awarded The Mike Kelsey Award for Attitude, Hustle and Desire!

Peveto’s first coaching job came in 1987 at Trinity Valley Community College where he coached the secondary. He coached at Stephen F. Austin from 1988-1991.

In 1989, the Lumberjacks made it to the 1-AA Championship game, but they lost 37-34 to Georgia Southern.

In 1992 and 1993 he coached linebackers and special teams at Southern Miss. He joined Danny Ford’s team in 1995 at the University of Arkansas where they made it to the Carquest Bowl, losing to North Carolina 20-10.

His first defensive coordinator job came in Natchitoches in 1996, 1997 and 1998 for the Demons. His “Purple Swarm” defense (known for his attacking defensive style, which had NSU ranked nationally in several statistical categories) made it to the semifinals in 1988 losing to National Champions Massachusetts 41-31. In 1999-2002, he was the co-defensive coordinator at the University of Houston.

In 2003 and 2004 he became the defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee. He left Middle Tennessee and headed back to Louisiana to become the special team’s coordinator and linebackers coach for the LSU Tigers.

In 2008, he became the Tigers’ co-defensive coordinator. While at LSU, he coached in the Peach Bowl in 2005, beating Miami 40-3, the Sugar bowl in 2007, beating Notre Dame 41-14, and he won a National Championship in 2008, playing in the BCS championship game against Ohio State, who they beat by two touchdowns, 38-24.

In 2009 they beat George Tech in the Chick-Filet Bowl, shutting down the option game of George Tech.

In 2009, he became the head football coach at Northwestern State. The Demons lost their first thirteen games. They went 0-11 in 2009. His first win as a head coach came on September 18, 2010 against Tarleton State 17-14. Three weeks later, they defeated the #22 rank team in the country, Central Arkansas. In the last game of 2010, the Demons played Stephen F. Austin for the conference title but lost 36-13. NSU ranks as the nation’s fourth most-improved team in Division 1.

Peveto is known as one of the best recruiters in the nation. The Demons’ 2009 signing class, put together in six weeks after he was hired, was ranked #1 in FCS by experts. The 2010 class was rated number four nationally among FCS schools in the rankings, the day after National Signing Day.

In one of Peveto interviews he was asked about being a good recruiter. He said, “Obviously, looking at me and looking at Melissa, (his wife of 15 years) you can tell I’m a pretty good recruiter.”

While coaching in Arkansas, Peveto meet his lovely wife Melissa Weser. They have two children, daughter Payton Marie, nine years old, and son Jacob Edward, six years old. In May of this year, Peveto lost his brother Garey Birt Peveto, and in July mourned the loss of another brother, Jeff Peveto. Both of them were high school coaches. Bradley Dale has one brother living in Orange, Greg Peveto. They all were great athletes and Orangefield graduates. Bradley Dale’s mother, Natalia Murray Peveto lives in Trinity, Texas.

I asked Coach Peveto, “How are you coping with the loss of your two brothers?”

He told me, “It has been very tough! The Peveto Brothers were very close. Garie and Jeff both stood in my wedding as best men 15 years ago. We were very close and I miss them very much. My Christian faith has gotten me through the tough times. I do not know how people who do not have a strong Christian faith make it through these kinds of adverse times. The great thing about it is that I know we will be joined together one day in heaven!”

Northwestern State’s players are wearing decals on the backs of their helmets with the initials of their coach’s brothers. The “Demon Deacons,” a group of Northwestern team leaders, made the decision to wear the decals and surprised their head coach with the news the day before the season opener.

I have been privileged to go and watch Bradley Dale coach in many games. Every game that I go to, he makes me want to put on pads. He is one of the best motivators I have ever been around. In the Demons opening game this year, his team came back from a 17-0 first half score to score 24 unanswered points and win the game 24-23 against Delta State.

There were a couple of ugly incidents in the game that he did not like. His post-game talk got everyone’s attention, but the comment from Coach Jay Thomas, the assistant head coach and defensive line coach summed it up. As we were leaving the conference room from the team meeting, Coach Thomas said, “That is why he is so special.”

Bradley Dale wears his emotions on his sleeves. You always know where you stand with him. Bradley Dale is a player’s dream coach. If I was a parent of an athlete, or the athlete, you cannot go wrong playing for him. Whatever it takes, whether it bucks the system or not, Coach Bradley Dale Peveto is going to do it the right way.

A linebacker at LSU, Kelvin Sheppard, recalled Peveto getting his ankles taped alongside the players before a game against the # 1 ranked team in the country, Alabama. Sheppard’s comment “It was great, It got everybody fired up, and it worked. It was one of our better games. Coach Peve was the kind of coach you would dream of having.”

Coach Sam Goodwin, head coach for NSU from 1983 to 1999, who Bradley Dale coach under commented, “The thing that always stuck out in my mind about Bradley Dale is that when he took to the field as a coach, it was exactly the kind of intensity you want your players to bring. They see him working that hard and caring that much and that affects them. He relates as well to kids as any coach I’ve ever been around, and they’ll fight tooth and nail for him because he’s such a good motivator.”

When asked what he has taken from his favorite coaches, Sam Goodwin (NSU), Bill Clay (SMU), and Les Miles (LSU), he said he took a little bit from each of them, “Coach Goodwin, Coach Clay and Coach Miles all had their own respective styles, but their core philosophies were very close in nature. They were all hard working, passionate, loyal men who loved football, their players and their coaches. They were men that always put the team first.

They were men of great character and discipline. They are three men that I idolize very much and have the utmost respect for. Willie Nelson sung “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.” When I sing it, I have my own version: My Heroes Have Always Been Coaches’. These three coaches are definitely three of my all-time heroes!”

Bradley Dale does come home once a year to chair the Ed Peveto Memorial Crawfish boil. This is a fundraiser for a scholarship that is given to a boy and girl of Orangefield. There is a lot of work put into it by many individuals who played for his dad.

When I asked him a personal question about his and my hero, his father, Ed Peveto he responded with nothing but love and admiration, “Big Ed was a man of principle! He was a strict disciplinarian. He was very passionate about his family, football and his players. He was a hard worker and loyal to a fault. The best thing about dad was he was a man with a lot of humility. It was never about him, always the players and coaches.”

Ed Peveto knew there was a bigger picture than football. He turned young boys into men and prepared them for life in the real world. We were not the biggest or the fastest but he made us believe in ourselves and that is a powerful tool. He was a father figure to a young man who did not have a male figure in their life. Many ex-players will tell you they may have gone down the wrong path if not for ED. Bradley got a lot of his dad’s mannerisms. He walks like him, talks like him and can motivate young men just like his dad. I have met many of his players and they respect and admire coach Peve. Ed always had a pad he kept in the front of his shorts. It was his “to-do” list for every day. Guess what, Bradley has one too! We never get off the phone without telling each other, we love you. We have a bond that is special and one I will always relish. (Keith Little -1980 Orangefield Graduate)

“Any time you talk about Bradley Dale, you have to talk about Ed Peveto, or vice-versa. No matter who you are talking to, it is always the same conversation; always true, and always the facts. Bradley Dale does what he does because of Ed Peveto, and I believe I do what I do because of Ed Peveto. I never had a father, so I could have and probably should have went down the wrong path, but big Ed steered me in the right direction. Bradley Dale is the same thing to many young men. Bradley Dale is also a true friend. You may have a lot of acquaintances in life, but you have very few true friends. If you have BDP as a friend, you have a true friend. He does what is right. Bradley Dale and so many others, including myself, represent what his father is. You notice I did not say was. We still and always will live our lives in the ways he taught us. The good thing about a lot of young men today, is they have Bradley Dale Peveto. I still walk and live through Ed Peveto. I am a product of this man. Coach Ed Peveto and his son are much more than a coach. They are men of character. They are teachers of young men in the game of life. I believe in Ed Peveto, and I believe in Coach Bradley Dale Peveto.” (Chris Hall-1979 graduate of Orangefield High School)

The Demon’s home opener was against NAIA power Delta State, in which the Demons had a come from behind victory. They went into Baton Rouge to the play the #2 rank Tigers in Death Valley, which the Tigers won the game 49-3. Then it was off to Dallas to take on the Mustangs of SMU, another tough loss 40-7. The Demons started conference play with an impressive win over Nichols State 34-0. It was their first shutout since 2006, when they beat Nicholls State 9-0. It was a nice start to conference play and a sweet victory for Coach Jay Thomas, the former Nicholls head coach, who got heckled all game by the fans. Coach Peve gave him the game ball in the locker room after the game. Last week it was a heavy weight bout when they went toe to toe with McNeese, but they came up short 20-18. Next on the schedule will be the Lamar Cardinals.

When asked about his brutal preseason schedule, which includes SMU and LSU, he told me “When we recruit student-athletes to NSU we tell them they will play a great schedule. Our philosophy is that a tough pre-season schedule prepares you for conference play! The SLC is one of the toughest conferences in the country. Guaranteed Money Games also are very helpful to our athletic budget.”

“Coach Roy Woodard has done a great job of recruiting junior college and transfer student-athletes. They are a very talented and well coached football team. They won five games in their inaugural year and they are off to a great start this season. Coach Woodard and his staff are doing a great job. It will be a great game,” was his response on his upcoming matchup with Lamar.

Alright Coach, I am going to put you on the spot. The Orangefield/Bridge City game has become one of the best rivalries in high school football. Who wins the bayou bowl this year, Coach Huckabay’s Bobcats or Coach Stump’s Cardinals?

“Both schools have great coaches and excellent programs. Blood is thicker than water! I have to go with my Bobcats. Orangefield wins the Bayou Bowl this year,” says the class of 1982 Orangefield Bobcat.

Lamar bringing back their football program has been exciting and fun to watch. The program has brought a spark back to Beaumont. I wish Lamar the best of luck, and hope they win every game they play except, when they play Northwestern State. This Saturday, Coach Bradley Dale Peveto will be bringing in his Demons to play the Lamar Cardinals at Provost Umphrey Stadium. Come on out and support Lamar or Coach Peve, it will be a fun game and one I’ve been waiting for. GO DEMONS!!