Emeritus, In Memoriam
Charles Everette Peterson was born (October 2, 1889) in Kearney, Missouri, the oldest of three children of Charles Henry Peterson and Ethel E. Sharp.
He and his two siblings were raised in Portland, Oregon. He attended Oregon Agricultural College and worked as a Physical Education Director at a Y.M.C.A. in Salt Lake City (1911-12), a Recreation Center in Portland, Oregon (1913-14) and a Physical Education Director of a Y.M.C.A. in San Diego (1915-16).
Charles married Ethel E. Sharp, also from the Portland area, about 1913. They had a daughter Marion (b. 1914) and son Robert (b.1916). His first appointment at San Diego Normal School was in October 1916, but, after one year, he left to serve in the military during WWI. He was a physical education & recreation director for military troops in California and Europe (France).
After his military service, he worked as a recreation supervisor and physical education teacher in the Bay Area of California before he returned to San Diego State Teachers College in 1921 to teach physical education and to coach. For his first few years on campus he was the only physical education faculty class instructor for men.
During his career he served as Athletic Director and Head Coach of Football (the first on campus), Basketball and Track. Charles was named Director of Physical Education for Men in 1927. Later he became Dean of Men and Associate Dean of Students. He served until June 1953, ending a remarkable 33 years of service to San Diego State.
He was a beloved leader, as evidenced by the students dedicating their student yearbook (Del Sudoeste) to him on three different occasions, including the year of his retirement. San Diego State built a gymnasium facility on campus in 1961 and named it Peterson Gym, dedicated to the memory of Charles E. Peterson, who died December 1959. In 1988 Charles E. Peterson was inducted (posthumous award) into the San Diego State Aztec Hall of Fame for his achievements as Head Football, Basketball, & Track & Field Coach.