Buzz gets Coastal Carolina job

Coastal Carolina University has hired Buzz Peterson to take over as head coach of its men's basketball program, CCU Athletics Director Warren "Moose " Koegel announced today. He will be the fifth coach in Coastal history, succeeding Pete Strickland, who was relieved of his duties in March after seven years. A press conference to introduce Peterson and his family will b e held Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration.

"We are delighted to have Buzz and Jan Peterson and their children join our family at Coastal Carolina University," Koegel said. "Buzz played on a national championship team at the University of North Carolina and has had outstanding coaching experience, working with some of the great basketball minds in the nation. He has a proven record as a head coach, as his teams have been to both the NCAA and NIT postseason events, including the 2001 NI T Championship, and won numerous conference titles.

"Buzz cares about his players and has been a great influence on his student-athletes as they strive to represent their teammates and institutions in a positive manner, both on and off the court," Koegel continued. "He will be a great ambassador of Coastal Carolina University in the area as well as throughout the state of South Carolina. We are excited to make this announcement and about this new era of Coastal Carolina basketball."

Peterson has been a successful head coach at three schools during his coaching tenure. Most recently, he was the head coach at Tennessee, posting an overall mark of 61-59, including two postseason bids to the NIT. He had six players earn All-Southeastern Conference honors during his four years, including Ron Slay, who was named SEC Player of the Year in 2003.

Prior to that, Peterson spent one year at the University of Tulsa during th e 2000-01 season, taking that team to a 26-11 overall mark. The Golden Hurricane captured the National Invitational Tournament title with five straight wins, including defeating Memphis in the semifinals and Alabama in the championship game.

In his first head coaching job at Appalachian State, Peterson improved the program from just eight wins in 1995-96 to a 14-14 mark his first year. He then had three 20-win seasons and led the Mountaineers to the Southern Conference's regular season title, a pair of SoCon Coach of the Year awards and a place in the SoCon Tournament championship game each of those three seasons. The 1999-2000 season culminated in Appalachian State winning the league's tournament title and earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Peterson began his coaching career as an assistant under Tom Apke at Appalachian State, where the Mountaineers posted a 36-23 record during that time. Peterson then joined Les Robinson=B9s staff at East Tennessee State for one year, where the Buccaneers won the Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles, earning the league=B9s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament for just the third time in school history.

Peterson then followed Robinson to North Carolina State for the next three years, which included a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the Wolfpack in 1991. He then became a part of Jan van Breda Kolff's staff at Vanderbilt in 1993, serving as the associate head coach for the Commodores. During his three-year tenure, Peterson was a part of a 51-41 overall record, including two appearance in the NIT and the NIT title game in 1994.

As a player, Peterson was a Parade and McDonald's All-American at Asheville High School and was named North Carolina's Player of the Year and Athlete o f the Year. He accepted a scholarship to North Carolina, where he roomed with the runner-up for both of the state's awards the previous season, Michael Jordan.

During his four years with the Tar Heels, Peterson helped the Tar Heels to a 115-22 mark, four Atlantic Coast Conference championships, one ACC Tournament title and four berths in the NCAA Tournament. He was a part of North Carolina's 1982 national championship team and was voted the Outstanding Senior by his teammates following the 1984-85 season.

Peterson and his wife Jan have three children: Nicole, Olivia and Rob.

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