Cecil Joyce, Murfreesboro Daily News Journal Published 6:15 p.m. CT March 12, 2020 | Updated 6:26 p.m. CT March 12, 2020
It was summer of 1991.
Still a young reporter for The Daily News Journal, I was relegated mostly to high school and middle school sports. I had dabbled in Middle Tennessee State sports mostly baseball in the past, but not a lot.
I didnt like writing about tragedy or death. Being young, naive and shy at the time, I was uncomfortable at the thought of having to interview someone about a loved one dying.
It was July 25, and I rolled into the office to begin my work day. Being the middle of summer, it probably didnt start out as a busy or eventful day.
That changed when I had to not only step into an MTSU storyin a pinch, but also do so for one involving tragedy.
A former Blue Raiders baseball star, Chris Whitehead, had died in an automobile accident in his hometown of Maryville. MTSU coach Steve Peterson was holding a summer youth camp that day and it was likely still going on. I had to rush tointerview him quickly for a story.
I got to MTSUs baseball field, and it looked deserted. Maybe I had avoided the dreadful assignment.
But then I saw him. One person, standing alone on Reese Smith Field. On the pitchers mound. It was Coach Pete, as he was always affectionately known.
I slithered out of the car and onto the field. Probably the slowest Ive ever moved.
I walked up toward the mound and Peterson was just standing there, head down. As I got near, he looked up and greeted me. My first (and only) response was, Hey, Coach. I guess you know why Im here.
Coach Pete shook his head and then, without a question needed, started talking about Chris, what he meant to the program and how tragic it was that such a promising baseball player, husband and father had been taken from the world in his early 20s.
I had everything I needed, and Coach Pete made it much easier for me than I could have imagined. Even in a time of heartbreak, he had the mind-set to make things easier on a young reporter.
Thats the kind of man Coach Pete was. Thats the kind of coach he was.
Peterson treated every player who donned a Blue Raiders jersey like they were his own son. He even treated me like that on week-long road trips I would take with the team. He would stay on me as hard as his own players. But I appreciated that.
Anyone taking the time to read this column knows what a great coach Peterson was. His 791 wins at MTSU (944 overall)are most in school history.
He was an even better man.
We lost that great man and coach Wednesday evening, as Peterson died at the age of 68.
Our talented MTSU writer, Joe Spears, was all over the story when it broke.
Im still uneasy about interviewing folks after tragedies or death.
But I would have gladly stepped up for this story. For Coach Pete.
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- The Book-Length Critique of Jordan Peterson Isn't Perfect, Either - Merion West - May 9th, 2020
- What Hating Jordan Peterson Tells You (about yourself) - The Times of Israel - May 9th, 2020
- Bee Peterson: We want to work. We will do it safely. Let us help figure things out so we can reopen - TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press - April 27th, 2020
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- The one player Michael Jordan was scared of in college? Buzz Peterson details it - The Athletic - April 27th, 2020
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- Three from Central Missouri to be inducted into MIAA Hall of Fame - The Daily Star-Journal - April 27th, 2020
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- The faces of adversity: Bemidji seniors mourn the death of a final season that never was - Bemidji Pioneer - April 27th, 2020
- Michael Jordan feared a certain NFL legend on the basketball court, according to his North Carolina roommate - CBS Sports - April 27th, 2020
- The economic fallout of COVID-19: Baxter Regional fights to survive - ktlo.com - April 27th, 2020
- Fighting the virus with personal freedom in socialist Sweden - Chicago Daily Herald - April 27th, 2020
- Maryann Plunkett, Liza Jessie Peterson and More to Appear on 10PM WITH GALINSKY - Broadway World - April 24th, 2020
- Politics behind the pandemic - WAOW - April 24th, 2020
- 'The Last Kids on Earth': Max Brallier and Scott Peterson on Season 2 and Beyond - Collider.com - April 24th, 2020
- Iowa State starts re-stocking what could be a depleted tight end position with immediately eligible transfer - Des Moines Register - April 24th, 2020
- Regis Jesuit alum David Peterson remains on track to make big-league debut for Mets in the near future - The Denver Post - April 2nd, 2020
- Peterson: Sports were better back in the day | News, Sports, Jobs - Daily Mining Gazette - April 2nd, 2020
- Vernon J. Peterson of WEC Energy Group is Appointed Chair of the 2020 MEA Board of Directors - Benzinga - April 2nd, 2020
- Adrian Peterson vs Jadeveon Clowney: Who was the better recruit? - 247Sports - April 2nd, 2020
- Sundays With Mike: the Peterson Guide to Social Distancing - KMAland - April 2nd, 2020
- Eufaulas Peterson named Super 12 Player of the Year - Dothan Eagle - April 2nd, 2020
- Man accused of making bomb threat arrested - pvtimes.com - April 2nd, 2020
- Peterson establishes testing point to limit spread of COVID-19 - csmng - April 2nd, 2020
- Check Out This Virtual Tour Of The Peterson Automotive Museum - TheThings - April 2nd, 2020
- Jordan Peterson - Wikipedia - March 17th, 2020
- Patrick Peterson: Cardinals 'all in' this year and 'not done' - Cards Wire - March 17th, 2020
- Inside the Treatment of Jordan Peterson - InsideHook - March 17th, 2020
- Ron Rivera wants Adrian Peterson to set the tone for his Redskins - Redskins Wire - March 17th, 2020
- City of Florence announces modified operations to prevent the spread of coronavirus - SCNow - March 17th, 2020
- Letter to the Editor - Peterson has this Republican's vote - Crookston Daily Times - March 17th, 2020
- The Critics of Social Justice, from Jonah Goldberg to Jordan Peterson - Merion West - March 17th, 2020
- Even Da Crusher is prepared for coronavirus. A South Milwaukee resident took photos of the statue with face mask and toilet paper. - Milwaukee Journal... - March 17th, 2020
- Local psychologist offers tips on how to protect your mental health, talk to kids during coronavirus outbreak - ABC 57 News - March 17th, 2020
- Rebecca Peterson: The goal is to join the Olympics and keep climbing all the time - Tennis World USA - March 17th, 2020
- Peterson: Dear IHSAA, what are we doing here? Limit or cancel the boys' tournament - Des Moines Register - March 17th, 2020
- DoD issues travel restrictions: What this means for military in Colorado Springs - KKTV 11 News - March 17th, 2020
- REPORT: Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Announce Patriot QB Tom Brady Signing on Wednesday | - SpaceCoastDaily.com - March 17th, 2020
- Former MTSU baseball coach Steve Peterson through the years - The Daily News Journal - March 17th, 2020
- Jordan B Peterson - YouTube - February 16th, 2020
- Is Jordan Peterson the New Ayn Rand? - Merion West - February 16th, 2020
- Redskins' Adrian Peterson in arbitration with Morgan Stanley in latest money dustup - The Athletic - February 16th, 2020
- Coyote Peterson on 'Brave the Wild' - Mental Floss - February 16th, 2020
- Peterson takes over as new judge - Daily Astorian - February 16th, 2020
- A Controversial Study Claimed To Explain Why Women Dont Go Into Science And Tech. It Just Got A 1,113-Word Correction. - BuzzFeed News - February 16th, 2020
- Controversial Scholar Jordan Peterson Treated for Addiction in Russia - The Moscow Times - February 16th, 2020
- David Peterson eyes the impact of Pullman Porter Museum before 25th anniversary - Rolling Out - February 16th, 2020
- Meet the Petersons: the controversial family plagued by ill health - Telegraph.co.uk - February 16th, 2020
- How Matt Peterson, an addict since childhood, got sober and learned to help others - WCPO Cincinnati - February 16th, 2020
- A High and Humble Calling - Bethel University News - February 16th, 2020
- Talented transfer fits in nicely with Barons - The San Diego Union-Tribune - February 16th, 2020
- EXCLUSIVE: Update on the health of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson - The Post Millennial - February 16th, 2020
- Peterson blasts big cuts to farm programs in Trump's budget - Echo Press - February 12th, 2020
- MonDak Ag Days and Trade Show to feature the Peterson Farm Brothers - Sidney Herald Leader - February 12th, 2020
- Jordan Peterson Almost Died In Induced Coma During Withdrawal From Anxiety Drug, Daughter Says - The Daily Wire - February 12th, 2020
- Boys district basketball: Nicholas Mason, Jordan Peterson lead Medical Lake to district tourney win - Sports and Weather Right Now - February 12th, 2020
- No Charges Pending in Shooting Death of 24-Year-Old - County 17 - February 12th, 2020
- Barbara Kay: Jordan Peterson and the deadly overprescription of benzos - National Post - February 12th, 2020
- AGAR: The awful responses to Rush Limbaugh and Jordan Peterson - Toronto Sun - February 12th, 2020
- Lauralie Peterson wins third edition of 'Faces of St. Martin' - The Daily Herald - February 12th, 2020
- Oscar Peterson's Africa Suite has never been performed in its entirety until now - CBC.ca - February 12th, 2020
- Peterson wanting to put Alberta back in the PMO - EverythingGP - February 12th, 2020
- Dear Jordan Peterson Fans, Try to Actually Be More Like Him - Merion West - February 1st, 2020
- Lawrence returns to Trans Am with Peterson Racing - RACER - February 1st, 2020
- BOYS BASKETBALL REPORT | Austin Peterson has a night to remember in Windham - Record-Courier - February 1st, 2020
- As hemp production booms, Rep. Collin Peterson works to expand the CBD market - MinnPost - February 1st, 2020
- The Takeaway: San Antonio Pitmaster Brandon Peterson on Breaking From the Texas Barbecue Norm - San Antonio Current - February 1st, 2020
- Peterson leads by example on young team - The Sheridan Press - February 1st, 2020