The Mike Peterson Foundation is committed to enriching and supporting Gainesville area youth by partnering with a local elementary school to help prepare students for the 2022-2023 academic year. The foundation, along with the spouses of the University of Florida Football coaching staff (including head coach’s wife, Ali Napier), UF Women’s Basketball coach Kelly Finley her staff and team will collectively supply backpacks, school supplies and undergarments for 334 students on August 8th.
This event marks a homecoming for Peterson a Gainesville native and athletic talent that was a member of the Florida 1996 National Championship team, he played linebacker for Steve Spurrier from 1995-98. His senior year, he served as a team captain and earned First-Team All-SEC and All-America honors. Peterson was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. He was selected in the second-round (36th pick overall) in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Peterson earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2005 and finished his career with 883 tackles, 21.5 sacks and 19 interceptions in 196 career games. A graduate of Santa Fe High School, he played 14 years in the NFL with the Colts (1999-02), Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-08) and Atlanta Falcons (2009-12).
From the beginning of his professional career, Peterson has believed in football not just as a sport, but as a model for life lessons and a way to encourage and uplift youth.
“Alachua County is my home, and the best way I can thank the community that raised and supported me is by giving back and helping a new generation of students grow and succeed.” – Mike Peterson.