BOONE, N.C. — Buzz Peterson, who led Appalachian State University men’s basketball to three Southern Conference regular-season championships and an NCAA Tournament appearance from 1996-2000, has returned to Appalachian to once again serve as the school’s men’s basketball head coach.
Peterson led the Mountaineers to a 79-39 record, including a 47-12 mark in SoCon play, in his first four seasons at ASU. His .669 overall winning percentage and .797 winning percentage in conference play are both tops among head coaches in program history (minimum three seasons).
After orchestrating a turnaround from an 8-20 season in the season prior to his arrival to a 14-14 record in 1996-97, Peterson coached the Apps to three-consecutive 20-win seasons, SoCon North Division titles and appearances in the SoCon Tournament championship game. The 1999-2000 squad went 23-9 and defeated College of Charleston, 68-56, in the SoCon title game to give the program just its second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history (the first since 1979).
In his four years at ASU, he was twice named SoCon Coach of the Year (1998 and 2000) and mentored seven all-conference honorees.
Following the 1999-2000 campaign, Peterson accepted the head-coaching position at Tulsa. In his only season at TU, he led the Golden Hurricanes to a 26-11 record and the 2001 National Invitation Tournament championship.
He then moved on to Tennessee, where he posted a 61-59 record from 2001-05. The Vols earned two NIT berths in Peterson’s four seasons at the helm.
Following the stint at UT, Peterson compiled a 35-25 record in two seasons at Coastal Carolina. In his first season at CCU (2005-06), the Chanticleers registered their first 20-win season in 13 years and fell in heart-breaking fashion to Winthrop in the 2006 Big South Tournament championship game.
In his 11 seasons as a head coach, Peterson has compiled a 201-134 overall record (.600) and led his teams to four postseason appearances.
He left the college game in 2007 to become the Director of Player Personnel for the National Basketball Association’s Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats won a franchise-record 35 games in 2008-09.
Prior to accepting his first head-coaching position at ASU in 1996, Peterson spent nine seasons as an assistant coach, with stints at ASU (1987-89), East Tennessee State (1989-90), NC State (1990-93) and Vanderbilt (1993-96). The teams that he served as an assistant coach for made four postseason appearances (two NCAA, two NIT) and were a combined 154-117.
Peterson played for four seasons under legendary head coach Dean Smith at North Carolina from 1981-85. During his playing career at UNC, he helped led the Tar Heels to a 115-22 combined record and four Atlantic Coast Conference championships. He was a member of Carolina’s legendary 1982 national championship squad, where he teamed with future NBA stars James Worthy, Sam Perkins and Michael Jordan, who was his roommate and part-owner of the Bobcats, later hired him as Director of Player Personnel.
Peterson prepped at Asheville High School, where he was a Parade and McDonald’s all-American and beat out Jordan for North Carolina Player and Athlete of the Year accolades in 1981.
Peterson and his wife, Jan, have three children: Nicole, Olivia and Rob.
“After a very thorough search, there is no doubt that Buzz Peterson is the right person to lead our men’s basketball program,” ASU director of athletics Charlie Cobb said. “In his previous stint at Appalachian, he brought unprecedented success and excitement to the program and the University. His passion for ASU was evident when he met with his players for the first time Tuesday evening and his fit within the fabric of the community make him the perfect choice to bring our program back to the prominence and excitement that it previously enjoyed under his leadership.”
A press conference with Coach Peterson will be held in Boone at a later date. Details will be announced at GoASU.com when finalized.
APPALACHIAN STATE MEN'S BASKETBALL HEAD COACH BUZZ PETERSON
Full Name: Robert Bower Peterson, Jr.
Born: May 17, 1963 (45 years old)
Children: Nicole, Olivia and Rob
Alma Mater: North Carolina, 1986 (B.A., geography)
|Head Coaching Experience|
|Season||School||Overall Record||Conference Record||Notes|
||SoCon North Champion, SoCon Coach of the Year|
||SoCon North Champion|
||SoCon North Champion, SoCon Tournament Champion, SoCon Coach of the Year, NCAA Tournament|
|Assistant Coaching Experience|
||East Tennessee State|