New Director of Athletics

Bethel University announces the hiring of Greg Peterson ’92, a 23-year member of the Bethel athletics department, as the next director of athletics.

By Michelle Westlund '83, senior content specialist, and Tim Beasley, assistant athletic director for strategic communications & marketing

January 28, 2021 | 12:30 p.m.

Greg Peterson

Greg Peterson ’92 is a former Bethel two-sport athlete and longtime member of Bethel’s football and athletic department staff.

Greg Peterson ’92 has been named the Bethel Royals' new director of athletics. He is currently an assistant athletic director and the offensive coordinator for the Royals football team, posts he has held since 2005 and 2003 respectively. “Greg has worked full time at Bethel for the last 23 years and brings an in-depth understanding of Bethel athletics, a passion for Christ, and a desire to support and serve student athletes to his new role,” says John Addleman, vice president of student experience.

Peterson came to Bethel as a student in 1988 and was a member of both the Royals football and basketball programs, graduating in 1992. He was immediately hired to the Royals football coaching staff in the fall of 1992 before becoming a full-time member of the athletics department in 1997 as the Royals sports information director and an assistant men’s basketball coach. Peterson’s promotion to assistant athletic director in 2005 has included the responsibilities of facility management for both Royal Stadium and the Robertson Center gymnasium complex, overseeing all aspects of athletic department transportation, and serving as an academic liaison on student athlete progress, along with various other roles. He has been a part of the search committee for 15 of Bethel’s current coaches or athletic department staff members. The last two years he has also chaired the Bethel Golf Classic, the department's top fundraising event, helping shatter the record for net profit through a new format in 2019 while still raising significant funds in a new COVID-friendly format in 2020.    

“I am so excited to have the privilege to represent Bethel in this role,” Peterson says. “Having been deeply involved with Bethel athletics since the fall of 1988, I have experienced the transformational impact Bethel and Bethel athletics have on young men and women. The coaches that I get to rub shoulders with each day take seriously their desire for excellence in their teams, but more so the impact they can have as they speak life into our student athletes.”

Peterson has been a part of 350 consecutive Bethel football games as a player and coach, including every game of head coach Steve Johnson's 32-year tenure. Peterson was the winner of the prestigious AFCA National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011. The Royals have amassed five MIAC championships, two West Region championships, and appeared in the NCAA playoffs nine times since 2000. Since 2010 Bethel’s balanced offensive attack has produced the MIAC’s leading rusher, passer, and receiver along with four MIAC MVP’s on offense during Peterson’s tenure.

Peterson will continue with the Bethel football program through the spring season and on February 15 will officially begin the overlap period with current Royals’ Director of Athletics Bob Bjorklund, who will retire at the end of May. 


Bethel Athletics

At Bethel, athletics are a life-changing experience for student athletes. More than 500 Bethel students—about 25% of the student body—participate in intercollegiate athletics. Bethel student athletes are campus leaders, shaping the university’s culture through their commitment, dedication, and hard work. And as graduates, they use life lessons from sports to lead and serve in the world.

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