Jerry Pettibone’s Football Career

The Jerry Pettibone Group, LLC

The Jerry Pettibone Group, LLC

Jerry Pettibone has a rich background as a football player, football coach and as a football scout.

  • He earned the Catholic All-State honors as a running back with the state championship high school football team at Jesuit High School in Dallas, Texas, in 1956 and 1957.
  • He received the honor of being in the first class inducted into the Jesuit sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • After graduating from Jesuit High School, Pettibone received a college football scholarship to the University of Oklahoma, where he played running back and defensive back from 1959 to 1961 under the legendary Bud Wilkinson.
  • In his career as an assistant coach, Jerry was with programs that participated in 11 major bowls, and with college football teams that won eight Big Eight championships.
  • Teams he worked with as an assistant coach achieved impressive football scores, producing a collective record of 168-64-3 (.721).
  • He was with two national championship teams in 1974 and 1975 at Oklahoma.
  • Jerry’s long list of college football recruits includes 20 consensus All-Americans, two Heisman Trophy winners, two Outland Trophy winners and a Lombardi Award winner.
Oklahoma Sooners
  • Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma was Billy Sims, running back in 1978 after rushing for 1,782 yards.
  • The Outland Trophy winners were Lee Roy Selmon, defensive tackle in 1975 and offensive guard Greg Roberts (1979).
  • Lee Roy Selmon also won the Lombardi Award in 1975.
  • One of Pettibone's early Oklahoma classes graduated 17 of 25 football players into the National Football League.
  • At Oklahoma, he was part of eight bowl games and was with two national championship teams. He was part of seven Big Eight championship teams at Oklahoma.

He was an assistant coach for three bowl games at Nebraska.

  • 1980 Cotton Bowl.
  • 1981 Sun Bowl.
  • 1982 Orange Bowl.

As a recruiting coordinator, he helped recruit consensus All-Americans’ Irving Fryer, running back Mike Rozier, and center Mark Traynowicz. Rozier won the Heisman Trophy in 1983 after rushing for 2,148 yards.


Named as the No. 1 recruiter in America by Sports Illustrated in 1984, Pettibone's initial recruiting class at Texas A&M ranked first in the Southwest Conference, and No. 5 in the nation. With Jerry Pettibone's college football leadership, that class produced six Aggie starters in the first year.

  • Inducted into the 2019 Northern Illinois Sport’s Hall of Fame.
  • As a head coach at Northern Illinois University, his football team defeated the first Big Ten Team in the history of the school, defeating Wisconsin 19 to 17 in 1987. NIU recorded a 9-2 record to tie best-ever record in history of the school in 1989. Pettibone was named ‘Coach of the Year’ in 1987 for major Northern Independent schools by Sporting News.
  • NIU established four school records (most points, most touchdowns, most rushing touchdowns and most possession time) and the Huskies were ranked among the top 25 in five different categories.
  • NIU recorded its first ever victory over a top 25 rated team when it downed Fresno State 73 to 18 in 1990.
  • NIU established 51 school records and 7 NCAA records during Jerry's final three years.
The Jerry Pettibone Group, LLC
  • While at Oregon State University, Pettibone became only the fourth football coach in history to defeat Oregon in his first season. Jerry's team defeated Oregon at Autzen Stadium for the second straight time in 1993. This football team set nine school records. OSU finished second in the nation in rushing.
  • OSU won its first Pac-10 road game out of the state of Oregon under Pettibone, when it defeated UCLA in 1994, 23-14 at the Rose Bowl. It was also the Beavers' first-ever victory in the Rose Bowl.
  • OSU also recorded its first football game victory over a ranked team under Pettibone, when it defeated Washington State 21-3 in 1994.
Jerry Pettibone

Jerry was named co-runner-up for the Division 1-A Coach of the Year honors following the 1993 season by Sports Illustrated. He was also appointed to the American Football Coaches Association's Ethics Committee in 1992 by Executive Director Charles McClendon.

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