The City of Crestview announced Tuesday the appointment of Brady Peters as its new Parks and Recreation Director, continuing his family’s legacy in the field.
Peters represents the third generation of his family to lead parks and recreation departments in Okaloosa County.
- His grandfather, Gene Peters, previously held the same position for the City of Fort Walton Beach. And his father, Jeff Peters, served as Fort Walton Beach’s Parks and Recreation Director from 2006 until 2022, when he became the city manager.
“I’ve been around recreation my whole life, and I’ve always dreamed of becoming a recreation director since my dad took over when I was five years old,” Brady Peters said.
Having grown up immersed in parks and recreation, Peters brings a lifelong passion to his new role overseeing Crestview’s youth and adult sports programs, recreational facilities and promotion of healthy lifestyles among residents.
“You see how much recreation helps the public — whether keeping kids out of trouble in the streets, giving other kids opportunities to make friends, bringing a lot of tourism dollars to our area,” Peters said. “I’ve been blessed to be able to see that growing up throughout my whole life.”
Peters’ hands-on experience ranges from raking fields and picking up trash to wanting everything around the parks “to look nice” and be “perfect,” his father said.
- “I think that’s ingrained in him and he appreciates how things look and how they operate,” Jeff Peters said. “And I think he just genuinely has a passion for recreation and it is on display everyday when he shows up to work.”
For Jeff Peters, his son landing the Crestview job represents a proud moment after years of watching Brady develop his passion through recreation.
“Getting the opportunity that he has gotten in Crestview is definitely something his mom and I are real proud of,” Jeff Peters said. “He’s worked hard for it.”
The Peters’ connection to Okaloosa County spans decades. The Peters’ family moved to Fort Walton Beach in 1974 and Gene Peters became the athletic director. The elder Peters held that position until 1992, when he was promoted to recreation director — serving until 2006.
- That set the stage for Jeff Peters’ hiring as recreation director upon his father’s retirement.
For his part, Brady Peters brings an extensive background in sports management and athletic program coordination to his new leadership role in Crestview. Peters holds a bachelor’s degree in sports management from the University of West Florida and a master’s degree in sports administration from Arkansas State University.
Before joining Crestview in September, Peters served as athletic coordinator at Northwest Florida State College. There, he played a pivotal role in organizing and enhancing various sports programs.
Crestview City Manager Tim Bolduc cited Peters’ “impressive academic background and hands-on experience” as an ideal fit to advance the city’s recreation department.
- “His impressive academic background and hands-on experience in athletic coordination align perfectly with our vision,” Bolduc said. “We believe he will contribute significantly to the growth and development of our Parks and Recreation Department.”
Peters shared enthusiasm about bringing innovation to Crestview while leaning on his father’s depth of expertise.
“In my competitive spirit, you always want to be better than him so we’re going to try to do that throughout my time here and hopefully I can make that happen,” laughed Peters. “But my dad’s been the greatest resource my two and a half months here.”
Peters described big plans on tap in Crestview, including air conditioning upgrades for the recreation center gym along with construction of a new indoor/outdoor sports complex.
- “I’m sure the residents in the city of Crestview will enjoy the new air conditioning, along with building a new sports complex, indoor and outdoor, which I think will be very beneficial for Crestview,” Peters said.
The short-term focus remains on delivering existing programs, such has youth basketball going on now.
“We actually just had our first games this past Saturday,” Peters said . “We have 750 kids in our program — 75 teams playing and we’ll run that through the middle of February.”
- Beyond sports, upgrades also are in store for the Crestview Senior Center. “We have a lot in the works on the next few years,” Peters said.
After starting as recreation deputy director in late September, Peters saw his dream realized before Thanksgiving with the promotion to lead the department — carrying on his family’s parks and recreation legacy in Okaloosa County.
“That’s been my dream to become a recreation director for as long as I can remember,” Peters said. “I am honored and excited to join the City of Crestview as the Parks and Recreation Director. We have huge things in store to make Crestview citizens proud to live and play here.”