By Colin Harris | Staff Writer
Former Garfield assistant Nathan Peters is the new head coach of the Waterloo football program, taking over for longtime coach Mike Bohley.
Bohley resigned the position in early December following a 3-7 season and was recently hired as the head coach at Doylestown Chippewa.
In five seasons at Waterloo, Bohley compiled a 16-34 record.
His best season was 2011, when the Vikings went 7-3 and competed for a County Division championship.
Peters most recently served as the offensive coordinator at Newton Falls during the 2012 season. Before that, Peters was assistant at Garfield under former coach Steve Wyllie from 2007 through 2011.
Peters said that former Waterloo coach -- and current Newton Falls defensive coordinator -- Craig Boles was a big reason why Peters found his way to Waterloo.
"When I heard that Mike Bohley had got the Doylestown Chippewa position, Craig Boles talked to me because he's still a teacher at Waterloo," Peters said. "I asked Craig his take on the (Waterloo) job and, with me living in Ravenna, I really jumped on it."
A 1998 graduate of Perry High School, Peters received both his undergratuate and graduate degrees from Kent State University. Peters is currently interviewing with the school district to fill Bohley's vacant social studies position at the high school.
It was the pursuit of his graduate degree, Peters said, that initially brought him to Garfield as an assistant.
"When I was pursing my grad degree, I had a lot classes with (new Garfield head coach) Mike Mosier," Peters said. "We would sit down in classes and constantly bounce (football) ideas off of each other. Finally, he asked me to come to Garfield and help out on the offensive side of the ball.
"Mike (Mosier) is a great friend of mine. Probably the only week we won't be talking is the week we play each other," Peters joked.
As for the team he will be taking over, Peters said that he likes what he sees in the early stages of training.
"The County Division is a really difficult league, but Waterloo kids are always hard-working and hard-nosed," Peters said. "That's the mentality I like from my athletes. If we can continue the foundation that (Bohley) put down, I think we'll be able to compete in this league."
Early participation numbers, Peters said, have been solid so far with as many as 50 kids from ninth through 12th grade signed up for more information on the program.
"The kids have been really receptive," Peters said. "We've been pushing a lot of tempo; we want the kids to work hard and finsh what they do. They're buying into it and they seem excited so far."
While coaching at Newton Falls and previously Garfield, Peters also served as Garfield's girls track and field coach -- a title he held through the 2012 season.
Peters said he will serve in a similar capacity at Waterloo, joining the Vikings' track program this season at the invitation of boys and girls head coach Greg Drugan.
"Coach Drugan gave me a call the night after I was hired at Waterloo," Drugan said. "He asked me to come over and coach with him. My background is in both the high and long jump and that's what I really focused on at Garfield."