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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNCW has terminated the the contract of men’s basketball coach Buzz Peterson, UNCW Athletic Director Jimmy Bass announced this evening in a news release.

Bass has appointed assistant coach Eddie Biedenbach as interim head coach. A national search for Peterson’s replacement will begin immediately.

“We appreciate Coach Peterson’s work on behalf of the student-athletes and the university,” Bass in a statement. “We thank him for his service and wish him well in the future.”

Peterson had two years left on his contract worth about $840,000. He has not returned a call from WWAY for comment.

Peterson’s Seahawks ended their season Friday with an opening-round loss in the CAA tournament. The team finished the season 9-23. It was his worst mark in his four seasons in Wilmington. He finishes his time here with an overall record 42-82, including 30-53 in conference play.

Peterson was named the ninth head men’s basketball coach in UNCW history on April 16, 2010. He came to Wilmington after spending just one year at Appalachian State. It was his second stint in Boone and the second time in his head coaching career he had left a job after one season.

Peterson said when he was hired at UNCW that he and his family wanted to put down roots and stay in the area for a long time to come.

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.

In 16 years as a head coach, Peterson’s record is 267-229.

Comment on this Story

  • Loveman

    Because his dream of establishing roots in Wilmington and staying a long time coaching there are shot to pieces…

  • Guest2020

    I don’t see how that is justice if he is still going to be paid for the job for the next two years.

  • Loveman

    After leaving ASU after only one year, without having the decency telling his players face to face or the AD for that matter, I have one word: Justice

  • SurfCityTom

    has a house in the area. He was available when they made the decision to bring in Buzz.

    He likely would have returned for less money.

    But, they’ll never do the logical thing.

  • Real Seawhawk fan

    I remember the packed houses Jerry Wainwright used to bring… UNCW basketball, @ former powerhouse in division 1 basketball…
    bring back Jerry Wainwright!…give him what he wants and the program will rebound.

  • justin

    How much was the buy out? He had two years left on his contract – what did UNCW have to pay?

  • fleebailey

    He has an overall winning record including Tennessee. You need 5 years as a coach. Now they will be paying two coaches. Another bad move by UNCW. It is hard to recruit when you play in high school gym and a lousy conference.

  • taxpayer

    About $840,000.

  • frank stein

    How much?? Put yourself in his shoes. If someone fired you,
    and they owed you $840K, would you take less?

  • chris

    about $850,000

  • Vog46

    seem to be implying that he is owed all of this:
    April 2014 – March 31, 2015 (Year 1)

    $240,000 base
    $100,000 for his Tv Program
    $100,000 for helping out with fundraising and marketing
    $440,000 total
    April 2015 – March 31, 2016 (Year 2)

    $240,000 base
    $100,000 for his Tv Program
    $100,000 for helping out with fundraising and marketing
    $440,000 total
    Bass has named Eddie Biedenbach as interim head coach.

    Almost $1M.
    There’s talk that he refused the buyout meaning UNCW pays out for the next two years.
    One thing to keep in mind that career wise he is still a coach with a winning record.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – UNCW should consider eliminating all sports and concentrate solely on academics. Let the athletes go to
    State, Duke or Chapel Hill or ECU. We should NOT be sending these athletes to Rhode Island or upper state New York to play games in front of just 100s of fans. We have to admit we are not big, we are not good, and we don’t turn a profit.
    Its time for Chancellor Miller (?) to make the move……


  • SurfCityTom

    they did not reach a mutually agreeable termination.

    Had he departed to go to another college, he would have paid the school.

    That is not the reason he is no longer Coach.

    You figure it out.

    And while you’re doing that, give thanks to those former administration nitwits who ran Benny Moss out the door and then had to offer Buzz a bloated, guaranteed contract to save face.

    Sadly, the team performed for Buzz as it had for Moss. Causes one to think Benny was not the problem.

    And don’t forget, they had to pay Benny a sizable sum to get him to go quietly into the dark.

  • jennifer jones

    i think that uncw made a bad choice of firing coach buzz peterson.i think it was wrong for them to do that to him.

  • 1234543

    What was the problem, was he to “conservative” for them?

  • 1492

    DUH !!!

  • Vog46

    program at a second rate school (athletically speaking).
    We need to end the misery and allow this University to concentrate all it’s efforts on scholarly endeavors.
    Swim meets with 75 attendees
    Volley Ball with about 100
    Basketball and Baseball are better but really? allow the 1.5% of those students to go to UNC CHapel Hill (heck give them a full scholarship)
    But END the sports program! What a travesty – sending students to Rhode Island and them to us? Good grief!!! URI is not a bad school either (I came here from RI) they have another outstanding Marine Bio program and worked together with UNCW this past summer.
    Thats what UNCW should commit to. Leave the sports to UNC CH, State, Duke, ECU. Let Pembroke and UNC Asheville, UNC-G, and UNC-W concentrate on intellectual pursuits.
    We need to come to grips with what “we” are and it certainly isn’t a sports powerhouse. I just wish I could convince my Legislators that not every school is a Duke, and not every school has a future Michael Jordan in it – and that’s OK………….


  • Erlkoenig

    Now UNCW can lower their crazy tuition.

  • Alan Daniels

    One of the nicest most genuine men I’ve ever met. He’ll definitely land on his feet and succeed in what ever he does.

  • anonymous

    Time to find the next young Shaka Smart.

  • Howie Lee

    Considering the players awful academic and athletic success while Peterson was coach, how could they not fire him?

  • taxpayer

    What is “underfunded” is your ability to grasp reality other than what is spoon-fed you by your liberal buddies. The basketball program has been declining since Buzz got here. No wins = no fans = no revenue.

    And what exactly are “rich, white a curling players”? Is “a curling” a new scholarship sport at UNCW?

  • Erlkoenig

    Clearly the UNCW basketball program is underfunded. If this team was fully funded they would be winning but the evil, knuckle – dragging Republicans just want to cut funding so they can support the rich, white a curling players.

  • dubalum

    Its a sad state of affairs when we talk about ending athletics all-together, I dont agree with that though I think it is a good point. We are in this situation from absolutely horrendous business decisions and questionable hiring practices from back in the mid 2000s. We had the whole Brownell debacle and then hire a new AD that just simply had no business being in the position. Moss, then an extension, then a bloated contract to bring Buzz in, then another questionable extension (this one on Bass)to extend Buzz. Terrible business acumen. No one was talking about ending the program back when things were going strong. No one is saying that we are going to be a Chapel Hill, or Duke. They have been around much longer than us, but we can be competitive. With a competitive team and the right folks in place the I believe the community and alumni will support it, but we got to have people making better decisions. I suggested the idea of Eddie B taking over, given to contract situation if they were to boot Buzz if would be the best scenario since he is already under contract. He is a well respected coach and has been a winner before in the past with his long tenure at UNCA. We were trending down in a death spiral, we saw what Buzz is. He came out of here in a golden parachute. Time to move on.

  • Erlkoenig

    Pure sarcasm, Taxpayer.


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