"Have a nice day!": Meet "Dougie," Coe's happiest face on campus

Published: Jun. 19, 2019 at 8:47 PM CDT
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At Coe College, there is no question who the most popular person on campus is.

Doug "Dougie" Peters has been an equipment manager since eighth grade. After spending time at Cedar Rapids Washington High School, he graduated from Coe and never left.

"Believe it or not, May 26th started year 38," Peters said. "My beloved alma mater. I like working here, putting smiles on people's faces and making them happy."

Being the equipment manager at a college is a big job. But, Dougie has it down to a science. His motto: "Start small, think big."

Part of that is taking his job very seriously. He works every day of the week.

"Seven days a week," Peters said. "Haven't had a day off in over 10 years now."

For all of that hard work and dedication, Coe decided to build a life-size mural of Dougie in the entryway of Kohawk Arena.

"Wow, it freaked me out! A life-sized Dougie," Peters said. "Like I said those are the best honors you can receive. The ones that are bestowed upon you."

Dougie loves the athletes and coaches at Coe. He has touched countless lives over the years.

"Dougie is, by far, our most popular athletic staff member," Sonny Travis, Coe College Athletic Director, said.

It is the everyday interactions that make the biggest impression on the people he works with.

"I think for the athletes, he just brings a smile to their face," Kayla Waskow, current Coe College Women's Head Basketball Coach and former player, said. "He hands out our laundry every single day, and ends it with 'have a nice day'."

Dougie is famous for many things at Coe. You'll see him giving his famous send-off when teams go on road trips.

"I'll be jumping up-and-down like a wild man, saying 'have a nice day!'" Peters said. "Just like in my mosaic."

He also has a signature method to climbing the stairs in Coe's athletics facilities.

"The human stairmaster," Peters said. "That's just when I go right up the stairs by two as fast as I can. It keeps me young, and keeps me in shape."

Dougie also has a world-famous appetite. His particular food choice is steak, which he can put away in a hurry.

"My record for eating a 40-ounce steak is five minutes 47 seconds," Peters said. "The most I've ever ate is 62 ounces."

It's safe to say they love Dougie at Coe, and he loves them right back.

"I would never believe it," Peters said. "It brings tears to my eyes when I even think about it. All my friends smiling at me, and then they come back and see me. I would never believe it. It's a blessing sent from heaven."