Bill Peterson, the former Pullman High School football coach who helped oversee the Greyhounds’ program during a prosperous six-year stretch, died Wednesday in a single-vehicle accident in western Washington.
Peterson, 43, was killed when his 1989 Ford Bronco rolled over on a rural road outside of Chehalis, where he was an assistant basketball and football coach at W.F. West High.
Peterson was football coach at Pullman from 2006-2008. Before that he was the Greyhounds’ defensive coordinator and top assistant for three seasons under Bob Wollan, who left for W.F. West after guiding the Greyhounds to the 2005 2A state championship.
“Anybody who’s ever played for (Peterson) knows that people like that don’t come around every day,” said J.T. Levenseller, the quarterback on Pullman’s unbeaten ’05 title team. “When he talked, you listened.”
Levenseller remained in close contact with his former coaching staff after graduating in 2006 and enrolling at Washington State, where he played football. Last fall he traveled to Chehalis for a game and watched Wollan and Peterson, who were close friends, operate on the sidelines again.
“Myself and quite a few other players were fortunate enough to keep playing after high school,” Levenseller said, “and you can go from fifth grade to now and all through college, he’s one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever played for.”
“All of us know the success we had after high school – on the field or off the field – a lot of what he taught us played a part in it.”
Peterson was also an assistant girls’ basketball coach at Pullman. His son Cody was quarterback for the Greyhounds during his tenure as head football coach.