On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles will take the field in Super Bowl 52, and it will be former Calvary head coach Doug Pederson leading the way.
In March 2005, then Calvary athletic director Johnny Booty took a shot in the dark, hiring Doug Pederson, a retiring NFL quarterback with zero coaching experience, as the head coach of the Cavaliers.
Johnny Booty said, “Of course I knew of his football background from being at Northeast and playing professionally as long as he did. I knew he would be able to do the X’s and O’s, but really when you have kids that you want to lead, you want to make sure you have the right guy, and he just lit us all up.”
Booty though had a condition for the job. He didn’t want Pederson to be a one and done guy at Calvary.
Booty said, “He said ‘I’ll stay here, and I’ll spend the rest of my life coaching here unless Andy Reid calls me. He said if Andy Reid ever calls me I’m gone.’ Because they were best friends.”
Booty’s gamble paid off. Pederson was 40-11 over 4 years with two trips to the state semi-finals.
Hayden Slack said, “He made football fun. You looked forward to practices, you looked forward to workouts. Anytime you could be on the field with coach Pederson, you looked forward to it, and he would jump in there and throw balls to us.”
Following the 2008 season, Pederson got the phone call from his friend Andy Reid, and was off to join the Eagles.
Booty said, “I’ll never forget him walking down the hallway with a piece of paper in his hand, and I said, ‘Andy called?’ and he smiled and said, ‘Yeah he just called me John. This is my resignation.’ So, It was a wonderful run.”
Now nine years after that phone call from Andy Reid, Pederson has a chance to be immortalized by bringing Philly their first Super Bowl championship.