By Ted Schultz
Grinnell College Sports Information Director
After being named Midwest Conference Football Coach of the Year this past season while serving in an interim role, Jeff Pedersen has been named head coach at Grinnell.
Pedersen's 2010 Pioneer squad went 6-4, the team's first winning season since 2004, while going 5-4 in the league.
Among the highlights were scoring 45 points against Macalester, the most by a Grinnell team in any game since 2004 and the most in a season opener since 1998. Grinnell also defeated Monmouth, the two-time defending MWC champion, after being outscored by a combined score of 170-0 in the three previous meetings with the Fighting Scots.
Pedersen, who is also a member of the track and field coaching staff, returned to Grinnell in 2008 after serving on the Pioneers' football staff from 2003-2006. He earned a degree in history in 2002 from Grinnell, after which he earned his master's degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy.
Pedersen served as offensive coordinator and head strength and conditioning coach at Catholic. He also was tight ends and wide receivers coach at the school from 2006-2007. Prior to that while at Grinnell, Pedersen was the Pioneers' offensive coordinator, head strength and conditioning coach and Fitness Center director. Before that, Pedersen was an assistant coach at the University of Chicago for the 2002 season.
A D3football.com All-America tight end, Pedersen set school records for receptions in a single season for the Pioneers in 1999 and also completions in a season while serving as quarterback in 2001. He was a four-time All-Midwest Conference performer and participant in the 2001 Division III Aztec Bowl, which pitted D-III All-Stars against the top players in Mexico.
Jeff and his wife Jordan Esbrook '01 have two daughters, Frances Belle and Nora Jane.
"On a very personal note I take great pride in naming Jeff, who played for me as an All-America tight end and quarterback as well as serving as a member of my football coaching staff for three seasons, as the new Grinnell College head football coach," said Grinnell athletic director Greg Wallace. "It is exciting when you can name the Conference Coach of the Year as the new full-time leader of a program. His performance this football season as interim coach showed he is more than prepared for the job. He is a great leader and has a commitment to the development of our student-athletes in the classroom as well as on the football field."