Mark Stoops has added some veteran experience to go along with the youth-dominated staff he has assembled so far at Kentucky.
The new UK head coach announced Saturday that Bradley Dale Peveto, who has 26 years on the sidelines, will coach the Wildcats' safeties and special teams. The Orangefield, Texas, native has coached in three SEC championship games and helped LSU win a national championship in 2007.
“Bradley Dale impressed me greatly during the year we worked together,” said Stoops, who was on the University of Houston staff with Peveto during the 2000 season. “He has a relentless work ethic and excellent experience as a special teams coordinator and defensive coach.”
“I knew the year we coached together (in Houston) that Coach Stoops had a great defensive mind and was one of the best coaches – both in teaching players on the field and building relationships with them off the field – I’ve ever known,” Peveto said. “I believed he had all the qualities necessary to become a head coach and I’m proud to join his staff at the University of Kentucky.”
Peveto (pronounced PEE-veh-toe) most recently spent four seasons as the head coach at Northwestern State in Louisiana, where he guided the team to consecutive seasons with five or more wins for the first time since 2004-05. His team improved by five wins from his first to his second season, the fourth-largest jump that year in Division I football.
Before his head coaching stint, Peveto spent 22 years as an assistant coach, including 2005-08 at perennial national power LSU, where he won a national championship, SEC championship and four consecutive bowl games. Peveto spent three years as the Tigers special teams coordinator and linebackers coach before being promoted in 2008 to co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
During his time with LSU, the Tigers ranked in the nation’s top five in total defense three seasons. In 2007, he coached linebacker Ali Highsmith to first-team All-America honors from CBSSports.com and second-team honors from The Associated Press. In 2005, Peveto led a linebacker corps of Highsmith, Cameron Vaughn, Kenneth Hollis and E.J. Kuale, which was one of the best groups in the SEC.
As LSU’s special teams coordinator, Peveto had both his punter (Patrick Fisher) and placekicker (Colt David) earn first-team All-SEC honors in 2007, marking the first time in school history that LSU had the All-SEC punter and kicker on its roster in the same season. Fisher had a great season with a league-best average of 44.5 yards per punt, while David drilled a school-record 26 field goals, leading the SEC in scoring with 147 total points, which was a league record.
Prior to his stop in Baton Rouge, Peveto spent two years at Middle Tennessee State and four years at Houston, serving at various times as a defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. He also coached two years in the SEC with Arkansas from 1994-95, working with special teams, linebackers and the defensive line.
A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Peveto was a four-year letterman for the Mustangs and played in four bowl games (Cotton, Sun, Aloha and Mirage). During his playing career, SMU won two Southwest Conference championships (1982 and 1984) and had a combined record of 43-14-1.
Peveto served as team captain in 1986 and earned the Wild Mustang Special Teams Player of the Year award and the Mike Kelsey Award for attitude, hustle and desire as a senior. He also was a member of the 1984 SWC All-Academic team.
Peveto comes from a family with a rich football coaching tradition. His late father, Ed, coached high school football in the Southeast Texas area and was inducted into the Greater Houston Coaches Hall of Honor in 1993 and into the Golden Triangle Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997. Two of his late brothers, Jeff and Garey Birt, coached at high schools in the Southeast Texas area.
Peveto is married to the former Melissa Weser, and the couple has a daughter, Payton Marie, and a son, Jacob Edward.