PAINESVILLE, Ohio—Lake Erie College Football Head Coach Mark McNellie announced the addition of former NFL player Antwan Peek to the Storm's coaching staff for the 2015 season. He will serve as the Assistant Coach for Defensive Ends.
"I am appreciative of the opportunity to be here," said Peek. "This is not my first experience coaching, but it is my first time as a college coach. I really want to make this a career so I am looking forward to getting the best experience out of this opportunity."
"We are excited to be adding a coach with such great experience and a true passion for the game," said McNellie. "We hope that his confidence, work ethic, and attitude will help shape our young defensive line."
Peek joins the Storm staff through the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Coaching Internship Program. The NFLPA partners with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) to help place former players in order to gain coaching experience at NCAA Division II, III and NAIA institutions.
"We want to thank Connor Ford and the NFLPA for selecting Lake Erie as one of the host institutions for its coaching internship program," said Storm Athletic Director Reid Guarnieri. "We are particularly thankful to Antwan Peek and so excited to welcome him to the Storm family. What we feel most proud about is the fact that Antwan had his pick of several institutions to coach for and he chose us. Lake Erie football will surely benefit from his experience as a player at the highest level as well as the coaching skills he has already developed at Strongsville High School and in the college camp circuit."
Peek was drafted by the Houston Texans in the third round (67th overall) in 2003 after a stellar career at the University of Cincinnati where he set a school record with 27.5 career sacks. Peek was a two-time All-Conference USA selection. He also received three John Pease (Top Lineman) and two Bearcat Co-MVP awards. Prior to his senior year, Peek was named to the Bronco Nagurski and Lombardi Award Watch Lists.
In four seasons with the Texans, Peek appeared in 51 games, making 21 starts as a linebacker/defensive end. Peek tallied 74 tackles and 10 sacks. He also had a 66-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in his second year. After his time with the Texans, Peek joined the Cleveland Browns in 2007. In 14 games with the Browns, Peek made 11 tackles with four sacks.
Off the field, Peek has had exposure to the coaching world. After coaching in the Strongsville Youth Football League for two years, Peek served as the Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach at Strongsville High School. In his two years with the Mustangs, Peek implemented a new defensive system and prepared and conducted training sessions. This past summer, he volunteered at the University of Cincinnati/Ohio University High School Camps developing drills for defensive linemen and providing helpful strategies to improve speed.
Aside from football, Peek has been involved in various charities. He served as an intern at Lighthouse Youth Center in 2003 and established Peek's Performers to provide game tickets and food to kids from rough neighborhoods. While Peek was with the Browns, he established Peek's Pound to provide tickets, food and apparel for children and adults with Cerebral Palsy.
"Regional followers of Cincinnati football and the Cleveland Browns will surely have followed Antwan during his pro career and he will no doubt prove very helpful on the recruiting trails," continued Guarnieri. "What stands out most to me though, are his charitable efforts and time spent mentoring young people. We very much look forward to his working with our student-athletes as well as his representing Lake Erie in the local community."
"I know the players are going to challenge me and I will challenge them," concluded Peek. "I am looking to make the best experience out of this and do my best to make these guys better."