Doug Pederson: From Underdog to Champion

on 20 March 2019

 Doug Pederson is most recently known and celebrated for leading the Philadelphia Eagles to the team’s first Super Bowl title in franchise history, a feat he accomplished in just his second season as the team’s head coach. The road he took to get there wasn’t easy. His path to success is something that  deeply resonates with Turning Points' values of embracing persistence and strength in the face of all odds. His method of personally connecting with his players on and off the field reminds us of the individualistic approach that Turning Points takes with understanding and interacting with our clients.

Coach Pederson might be described as an underdog’s underdog. Entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent, he played 14 years as a backup quarterback and won a Super Bowl as part of the Green Bay Packers. After retiring from playing in 2004, Doug began coaching at the high school level when he took on the role as head coach of the Calvary Baptist Academy football team in Shreveport, Louisiana. After four successful years at Calvary, including the school’s first district title, Coach Pederson joined the Philadelphia Eagles as an offensive quality control coach, helping the team set single-season franchise scoring records in back-to-back years. He assisted an offense that recorded a then-franchise-record, which ranked second in the NFL that season, and a then-franchise-record points scored, which ranked third in the league. 

As the quarterbacks coach two years later, he helped Michael Vick become the second quarterback in NFL history to top the 3,000-yard passing and 500-yard rushing plateaus in consecutive seasons. 

When Coach Pederson rejoined the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016 as head coach, no one could have predicted what would unfold in his second year. The 2017-2018 season was an incredible ride for the coach, his team, and the entire Eagles fan base as it culminated in the history-making win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LXII. 

Following the championship season, Pederson authored Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion, where he reveals the principles that helped him throughout his career. Noted for his emotional intelligence, Coach Pederson is hailed as a coach who knows how to get players to play for him through unconditional support, encouragement, and ensuring that there is a connection both on and off the field.   

Coach Pederson’s passion and commitment to his players and his craft are clear. His understanding of what happens when a group comes together and focuses its collective energy on a singular goal has guided his team to success. 



This story of success through great determination is so inspiring to us. We strongly believe that no person is too much of an underdog to achieve wonderful things, and our programs and support systems stress this value of each individual with whom we come into contact. As Coach Pederson has said: “An individual can make a difference but a team can make a miracle.” This is especially true for the Turning Points for Children family: all of our staff, volunteers, donors, sponsors, and supporters form a team where everyone plays a role in making a positive impact! 

We invite you to celebrate with us at the 20th Annual Kids at Heart Gala. Join us on Thursday, May 9th at The Franklin Institute as we honor Coach Pederson as a “Champion of Change”.

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