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App picks coach after Buzz left for money


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It took UNCW 79 days to hire Buzz Peterson to be the Seahawks' new men's basketball coach. It looks like Peterson's old employer needed just three days to find his replacement.

Appalachian State has reportedly offered Jason Capel the job left vacant when Peterson came to UNCW Friday. Capel, who, like Peterson, played at UNC, was an assistant under Peterson at Appalachian State last year. Capel could be formally introduced as the Mountaineers' new coach as early as today.

Meanwhile, we're learning more about Peterson's motivation for taking the UNCW job. In Tuesday's edition, the Winston-Salem Journal reports Peterson left for Wilmington because of the money.

"It was one of those things where I had to do what was best for my family," Peterson told the newspaper. "The situation we've been in is we haven't been able to sell homes. I have them at different locations, and I had to do what was best."

Peterson spent one year in his second stint at Appalachian. Before that he spent a year as director of player personnel for the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, working under his old college roommate Michael Jordan. During the news conference to introduce him as UNCW head coach Friday, Peterson admitted he and his family never moved to Boone because his daughter was finishing high school. Instead, he commuted from Charlotte. Regardless of the reason, it irked some Appalachian fans who now feel burned after Peterson left the school for greener pastures for the second time in a decade.

"I understand that, people being upset, but, again, I've got to look at my kids and my wife, and I've got to do what's best for them," Peterson told the Journal. "I took a $100,000 pay cut to take the job in the first place. It's like a lot of things going on right now. It's not the easiest times out there financially in this world. I hate to use finances for something that you're doing, but I would ask a person if he got paid double for doing the same job, ‘What would you do?'"

Appalachian gave Peterson his first head coaching job in 1996. He led the Mountaineers to the NCAA tournament in 2000 before leaving for Tulsa. He spent one season with the Golden Hurricane and won the NIT championship. That earned him the top job at Tennessee, which fired him after four season. Peterson then spent two years at Coastal Carolina before joining the Bobcats.

Peterson's five-year contract at UNCW pays him a base salary of $200,000 the first year with $10,000 increases each year. He gets another $100,000 a year for his weekly TV show during the season and another $100,000 annually to help the athletic department and Seahawk Club with marketing and fundraising. Peterson will receive a $35,500 retention bonus if he's still coach on June 1, 2011, and another if he's in the position on June 1, 2012. The contract also includes performance bonuses.

Friday Peterson said he is tired of moving his family from place to place and is ready to put down routes in Wilmington. UNCW athletic director Kelly Mehrtens told WWAY Peterson's contract is proof of that. It includes a $500,000 buyout if Peterson leaves before June 1, 2011. That amount goes down $100,000 in each subsequent year.

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its a job

So its life people everyday want to make more money for there family if u could do it u would so stop acting like he did something wrong its a job how many times you let your kids down because you couldn't get something for them its life move on...parents should guide your kids not some coach...remember he went to school to get a better job that's pay better....its life


he has 2 houses he's been unable to sell, and given his track record in switching teams, perhaps he should consider renting.

Thanks for nothing Buzz. You

Thanks for nothing Buzz. You knew your financial situation coming to App and you honestly think we feel pity on you for not being able to take care of your family on 220K? Some of us go to school for advanced degrees, work two or three jobs, and still can't get a deal like what you had. Sounds like you're p@$$ poor at managing your family's finances just like you're p@$$ poor at committing to a team. Enjoy this joker Wilmington. I can't believe you're willing to pay so much for this idiot. I'd be angry if I knew my tuition dollars were going towards someone with this guy's character.

What a jerk! He was lucky to

What a jerk! He was lucky to get a job as a coach again even at a $100,000 a year loss. Damn tool!

Give us a break! We are not

Give us a break! We are not impressed with the $500K buyout. Most of us understand that if another school wants him, they will make arrangements to buyout the contract for him!

Coward that he is, he phoned

Coward that he is, he phoned in his leaving ASU. Didn't even have the courage to meet with his players face to face and tell them nor did he meet fact to face with the ASU Chancellor.

Yeah great higher UNCW and a great role model for the youth.

The Buzz in Wilmington

It's spring in Wilmington, the azaleas are blooming and a Buzz in in the air. Spring last three months. Let's hope that the Buzz can stay in Wilmington for at least that long but as history shows, it's doubtful.

He should stop crying, no

He should stop crying, no one made him take the App State job in the first place. He chose the job for his own personal reasons.

He has made a habit of leaving teams for "greener pastures". Don't get used to having him around seahawks

Good luck UNCW

Enjoy Buzz for the 1-3 years you have him, don't trust a word he says about "roots". Note that he said he and his family are looking for put down roots somewhere (not specifically Wilmington). Buzz left ASU by leaving a voicemail to the AD and did not meet with his players prior to departing. He is a great coach, but I question his intentions and ever wondering eye.