PROVO -- Brigham Young University athletics director, Val Hale, announced today Tom Peterson has been named the head coach of the BYU men's volleyball program.
"Tom has been a winner wherever he has coached," Hale said. "He has won a national championship and has built many programs from the ground up. Men's volleyball at BYU is an NCAA sport mainly due to Tom's efforts when he coached our club team in the '80s. We are confident Tom will continue BYU's outstanding volleyball tradition, and we are thrilled he again wants to be a Cougar.
Peterson, a native of Orem, Utah, comes to BYU with over 20 years of volleyball coaching experience, including 17 years of collegiate head coaching experience. After five years as the head coach of the BYU club program, from 1984-1988, Peterson led the Penn State men's volleyball team to five NCAA Final Four appearances, including a National Championship in 1994. While at Penn State, Peterson guided the Nittany Lions to a 127-49 (.722) overall record.
"It is both a privilege and a thrill for me to be considered for this opportunity to come back to my alma mater," Peterson said. "BYU has always been near and dear to my heart. I have a lot of history here, more than just volleyball. My wife and I look forward to being a part of this wonderful program and university."
Peterson holds a doctoral degree in physical education administration, curriculum and instruction from BYU (1992). He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from BYU in 1978 and a master's degree in curriculum development with a minor in educational psychology from BYU in 1982.
While working on his master's degree, Peterson served as an assistant coach on the University of Utah women's volleyball team from 1981-82. In 1983, he returned to BYU as an assistant under current women's head coach Elaine Michaelis. In 1984, Peterson took over the head-coaching duties of the BYU men's volleyball club team. After five seasons at BYU, Peterson was hired as the head men's volleyball coach at Penn State.
Most recently, Peterson served for one season as the head coach of the University of New Mexico women's volleyball program. Prior to UNM, he coached at Utah State for two seasons, leading the USU women's program to 22-10 record in only his second year. The Aggies advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2000 and finished ranked no. 21, marking the program's first-ever top-25 ranking.
Peterson also spent three seasons as the head women's coach at Salt Lake Community College, posting an 80-38 record from 1996-1998. During his tenure at SLCC, Peterson guided the Bruins as high as no. 7 in the national junior college rankings.
Peterson will take over a program that has been under the direction of Carl McGown, who led BYU to two National Championships in a span of three years. McGown posted 205 victories in just 13 seasons, averaging nearly 22 victories per season over the past six years. Peterson has both played and coached under McGown since attending BYU in the late '70s.
"No one will ever replace Carl," Peterson said. "In my opinion, he is the most brilliant mind in volleyball. He has trained volleyball players better than anyone else in the world. It is going to be an ominous task to keep up the tradition he has established over the years."
Peterson is married to the former Sheryl Rice of Bakersfield, Calif. Sheryl is also active in the volleyball circle, having served as the director of the Lobo Volleyball League in Albuquerque, one of the largest recreational volleyball programs in the country.