Pederson: Calvary, Philly … now head coach in J’ville

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

Former Calvary Baptist football coach Doug Pederson returned to the NFL’s head coaching ranks Thursday night, announced by Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Shad Kahn to follow the 13-game train wreck that was Urban Meyer.

Pederson led the Cavaliers to an overall 41-10 record and four state playoff appearances in 2005-08 in his first head coaching venture. Calvary reached the state semifinals in 2007.

He guided a Philadelphia Eagles franchise that hadn’t won the Super Bowl to the NFL championship in 2017, his second season as head coach in Philly. He had a 42-37-1 (.531) regular-season record (46-39-1, .541, including playoff games) and guided the Eagles to three playoff appearances in his five seasons, but was let go three years after the Super Bowl LII upset win over the New England Patriots.

“Doug Pederson four years ago won a Super Bowl as head coach of a franchise in pursuit of its first world championship. I hope Doug can replicate that magic here in Jacksonville,” said Kahn.

“But what is certain is his proven leadership and experience as a winning head coach in the National Football League. It’s exactly what our players deserve. Nothing less. Combine this with his acumen on the offensive side of the ball, and you have why I am proud to name Doug Pederson (our) new head coach.”

His quarterback coaching talent was on display developing Carson Wentz into a successful starter during Pederson’s first two seasons in Philadelphia. The Jaguars are built around the 2021 NFL Draft’s No. 1 pick, former Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence.

Pederson, 54, interviewed twice, most recently on Tuesday, for the job. Meyer, the former Ohio State and Florida college coach, stumbled through his brief time in Jacksonville, embarrassing the franchise with an off-field incident in a bar and turmoil throughout the roster during his 11 months in charge.

A ULM graduate, Pederson followed Stan Humphries as the quarterback in Monroe and was a 1991 free agent signee. He was a backup for eight NFL teams during a pro career that included roster spots in 10 seasons from 1991-2004. After a year out of coaching, Pederson had also recently interviewed for the vacant Saints’ post.