WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNC Wilmington named Buzz Peterson as its new men’s basketball coach Friday. WWAY TV carried the entire news conference live Friday afternoon.
Peterson coached at Appalachian State last year, leading the team to a 20-11 record and finishing first in the Southern Conference North division with a 12-5 record. It was his second stint with the Mountaineers, who he also coached from 1996 to 2000, including a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2000.
The new coach will make at least $400,000 in his first season. According to a copy of his five-year contract UNCW released, Peterson will earn a base salary of $200,000 his first season. That amount will increase $10,000 in each subsequent year. UNCW will also pay Peterson $100,000 a year for his weekly coach’s show during the season. The new coach will also get $100,000 a year from the Seahawk Club to help with marketing and fundraising. Peterson is also due a $35,500 retention bonus if he is still coach after years one and two of the contract. The contract also includes various performance bonuses, including post-season games and winning conference or national coach of the year honors.
After spending just one year in a job for the second time in his head coaching career, Peterson said Friday that he and his family want to put down roots and stay in the area for a long time to come. UNCW Athletic Director Kelly Mehrtens said the contract shows that commitment to the school and community. If Peterson quits before July 1, 2011, he must pay UNCW $500,000. The buyout amount goes down $100,000 each year.
Peterson was Michael Jordan’s roommate when the two played together at UNC in the early 1980s, including 1982, when the Tar Heels won the national championship.
As a coach, Peterson left Appalachian after the 2000 season for Tulsa. In his only season there he led the Golden Hurricane to the NIT championship. He then coached Tennessee from 2001 to 2005, where he went 61-59 in his four seasons and made two trips to the NIT.
Peterson was 35-25 in two season at Coastal Carolina in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. He was out of college coaching for one year before returning to Appalachian. He spent that year as Director of Player Personnel with the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, serving under Jordan, who now owns the team.
The entire Coach’s Corner show on Sunday morning will be dedicated to the new Buzz in town. That’s 11:30 a.m. on Sunday on WWAY TV.