UWO hires Jennings to be next football coach

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

UW Oshkosh Athletic Director Darryl Sims announced on Tuesday that Peter Jennings would be the new head coach of the Titan football team during a press conference at the Culver Family Welcome Center.

Peter Jennings
Jacob Link/ Advance-Titan
UWO Athletic Director Darryl Sims unveils Peter Jennings as the new head
coach of the football team on Tuesday

“Peter has a real vision for Titan football,” Sims said. “He is a strong leader. He has an innovative football mind, and has demonstrated the ability to work well with student athletes, to help them be successful in the classroom and on the football field.”
Jennings was the offensive coordinator for four seasons at UW-Whitewater, where he helped the Warhawks compile a 39-4 record and win three Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships from 2018-21. The Warhawks advanced to the 2019 NCAA Division III championship game and reached the semi-finals in 2018 and 2021.
“His enthusiasm is contagious and resonates well with the players and coaches,” Sims said. “He understands the make-up of the WIAC and what it will take to be successful in our conference. I look forward to working with Peter.”
Jennings takes over for former head coach Pat Cerroni, who announced his retirement in November, and becomes the 23rd head coach in the 126-year history of the UWO football program. The Titans have had just six different head coaches between 1946-2021.
“Let’s get this team rocking and rolling,” Jennings said. “I am so excited to be here. I am humbled to be named the next head football coach here at [UWO].”
Jennings, who said he would be calling the plays next season, went on to talk about his excitement about joining the Titan community. “[With] the university and all of its elite academic offerings, the fertile recruiting grounds of the Fox Valley, and this unbelievably vibrant campus community, this truly is a dream come true for me and my family,” Jennings said.
With Jennings at the helm of the offense, UWW averaged 40.9 points per game last season. He also mentored two Warhawk quarterbacks who were voted WIAC Offensive Player of the Year: Max Meylor (2021) and Cole Wilber (2018). Jennings coached 10 D-III All-Americans and one recipient of the D-III Rimington Award, given to the best center in the country, during his time in Whitewater.
“Being a head coach is a huge responsibility and I will never take this responsibility for granted,” Jennings said. “Our staff will be teachers first and foremost. We will offer an inclusive environment for all members of our football program. We will be honest and energetic and we will always put the wellbeing of our student athletes first.”
Prior to coaching at Whitewater, Jennings was the offensive coordinator and associate head coach at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, from 2016-18. The Lynx set program season records in total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, total yards, and passing yards during this time.
Jennings coached at Carroll University in Waukesha from 2012-16, where he was the offensive coordinator. Jennings helped the offense achieve its two highest scoring seasons in school history. He was also the interim head baseball coach with the Pioneers in 2013.
Jennings played college football at Illinois College, where he was the starting quarterback from 2004-07. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and exercise science in 2007 from Illinois College. Jennings went on to receive a master’s degree in psychology from Walden University in 2009.
“I began the pursuit of this job when we were walking down Main Street in Lake Geneva,” Jennings said “I sent an email to Darryl, expressing my interest and letting them know that I want to put in for this great job. I would not be standing here right now without my wife, Kim, my son, Ben, and my daughter, Mara. Their support and unwavering excitement for football and passion for what we do as a family is phenomenal and is instrumental in who I am. We are so lucky to be a part of the greater Oshkosh community.”
Titans Co-Interim Head Coach Luke Venne, the offensive coordinator, was a finalist for the head coaching job. When asked what this hiring means for him, he said, “I love Titan football and I look to continue to build [on our] success.”
UWO’s current string of 10 consecutive winning seasons is the longest in program history. Last season, the Titans had a 6-3 record overall and finished fourth in the WIAC with a conference record of 4-3. The Titans are scheduled to open the 2022 season against East Texas Baptist University on Sept. 10 at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.
“I am finally to the destination, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh,” Jennings said. “The bar here has been set extremely high. I so appreciate the faith that [Sims has] in moving this elite program forward.”