LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head men’s basketball coach Craig Smith has named Eric Peterson as an assistant coach to the program, it was announced Friday. Peterson was a member of Smith’s staff at South Dakota, having coached in Vermillion each of the past four seasons. Peterson is one of two coaches joining Smith from South Dakota as Austin Hansen was also announced as an assistant coach on Friday.
“Eric has one of the brightest minds in the game,” Smith said. “He is intelligent and has a great feel for the game. He did a great job with our big men at South Dakota and I know he will do great things here in Logan. He possesses great recruiting ties throughout the country and within the junior college ranks.
“Austin and Eric are the total package,” he continued. “They are great coaches, recruiters, and mentors for the men in our program. They have wonderful families that will thrive in Logan. We went 48-21 over the last two years at South Dakota and both of these men were a major reason for our success.”
While at South Dakota, the Coyotes enjoyed unprecedented success at the Division I level with back-to-back 20-win seasons, a regular season Summit League Championship and the school’s first-ever appearance in the Summit League Tournament Championship game. Overall, USD was 79-55 (.590) over the past four seasons, including a 38-26 (.594) mark in conference play. In the past two seasons alone, South Dakota was 48-21 (.696) and 23-7 (.767) in league play, while advancing to a pair of postseason appearances in the NIT and CBI.
Peterson directly worked with the post players at South Dakota, mentoring his charges to a first-team all-Summit League honor for Tyler Flack, and a pair of second-team all-Summit League accolades in Trey Burch-Manning and Tyler Hagedorn. Last season, Burch-Manning finished sixth in the Summit League in rebounds per game, averaging 6.8 per contest. Hagedorn finished second on the team with 13.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest, while leading the team with 28 blocks during the year. Burch-Manning was also named to the Summit League all-Newcomer Team in 2016-17 after finishing fourth in the Summit League with 7.8 rebounds per contest during league play in his first year in Vermillion. That same season, Flack finished second on the team with 15.2 points per game and led the Coyotes with 6.8 rebounds per game and totaled 41 blocks.
Over the past two seasons in the Summit League, South Dakota finished third (37.69 rpg) and second (37.38 rpg), respectively, in total rebounds per game, and ranked third both seasons in offensive rebounds per game with 10.26 offensive rebounds per game in 2017-18 and 10.44 offensive rebounds per game in 2016-17.
In addition to working with the posts, Peterson was also in charge of scheduling for the Coyotes and didn’t shy away from tough competition. In 2017-18, South Dakota played at Duke, and took both UCLA and TCU to the wire in road contests in Los Angeles, Calif., and Forth Worth, Texas. The 2016-17 schedule included road games at Nebraska and Gonzaga, while the 2015-16 schedule included a victory at Minnesota, 85-81, in double overtime, snapping the Golden Gophers’ 47-game non-conference home winning streak.
“My family and I could not be more excited to be at Utah State. The tradition and fan support that has been associated with the men’s basketball program is second to none,” Peterson said. “The opportunity to continue to work for coach Smith and be part of the Aggie community is a privilege. I look forward to helping build this program into a contender in the Mountain West.”
Prior to USD, Peterson was the head men’s basketball coach and Director of Athletics at Williston State College, a junior college in Williston, N.D. During his tenure, the Tetons compiled an overall mark of 52-15 and captured the 2014 Mon-Dak Conference Championship and the 2013 Region XIII Championship. In his final season at WSC, the Tetons won 27 games, had their best winning percentage in program history and earned the program’s first-ever top-25 ranking. The performance led to Mon-Dak Coach of the Year honors and a pair of NJCAA All-American honors for Marquel Curtis and Trey Dickerson. As the AD, Williston State added hockey and softball during his watch, along with various renovation projects of the WSC facilities.
Peterson was also an assistant coach at Williston State from 2005-09, coaching three All-Americans before departing for two years while serving as an assistant coach at Minnesota State Moorhead.
While at Minnesota State Moorhead, Peterson helped the Dragons to their first winning season in 10 years. The following year, Moorhead opened with 11-straight victories, was ranked as high as No. 16 in the national polls and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Individually, the Dragons generated a pair of Division II All-Americans in Jordan Riewer and Alex Novak.
Peterson cut his coaching teeth at La Crescent High School in La Crescent, Minn., before coaching the Wisconsin Playground Warriors, regarded as one of the top AAU programs in Milwaukee, Wis.
Peterson is originally from West Salem, Wis., and graduated from UW-La Crosse with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He also holds a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in sports management and education from South Dakota.
Peterson and his wife, Lindsey, have a daughter, Flynn, and two sons, Isaiah and Briggs.
Utah State men’s basketball news and information is available on Facebook (facebook.com/usumen’sbasketball) and on Twitter (@Aggiehoops). Fans can also get USU men’s basketball highlights on YouTube (youtube.com/utahstateathletics). Aggie fans can follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter (@usuathletics), on Facebook (facebook.com/usuathletics) or on Instagram (@usuathletics).
Eric Peterson Named...
LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head men’s basketball coach Craig Smith has named Eric...04/20/2018
Tauriawn Knight Set to Join...
LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head men’s basketball coach Craig Smith announced the...04/17/2018
Transcript - Introductory...03/27/2018
Craig Smith Named Utah...
Utah State University Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell announced Monday...03/26/2018
Koby McEwen Named Second-Te...
LOGAN, Utah – Utah State sophomore guard Koby McEwen has been named second-team all-distric...03/13/2018
Tim Duryea Relieved of His ...
Utah State University Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell announced today (Mar...03/11/2018
Utah State Loses 83-68 to...
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Utah State men's basketball lost, 83-68, to New Mexico on Friday night in its...03/10/2018
Utah State Men's Basketball...
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - For the first time since joining the Mountain West Conference, Utah State men's...03/08/2018
Official Aggie Gear