In his first season at CCU, Peterson directed the Chanticleers to the program's first winning season in 12 years and first 20-win season in 13 years, along with their first berth in the Big South Championship game since 1993. In addition, the overall record of 20-10 marks the fourth-biggest turnaround in school history and was the best record by a first-year coach at Coastal. Individually, he coached the Big South Conference's Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year, sophomore guard Jack Leasure. He also had players selected to the All-Big South Second Team (Pele Paelay) and All-Freshman Team (Joseph Harris) and was runner-up in Big South Coach of the Year balloting.
"We are delighted to have Buzz and Jan Peterson and their children in our family at Coastal Carolina University," CCU athletic director Warren "Moose" Koegel said. "Buzz played on a national championship team at the University of North Carolina and has had outstanding coaching experience, working with some of the great basketball minds in the nation. He has a proven record as a head coach, as his teams have been to both the NCAA and NIT postseason events, including the 2001 NIT Championship, and won numerous conference titles."
"What made this job so appealing was the potential here at Coastal was just exploding," Peterson commented. "That comes from talking with other administrators around the South about what could happen here. Nothing good is going to happen unless we get out there, work hard and win some games and get people excited about our program and all the sports. It is my job to make sure that I get the men's basketball program to where people get excited about it and come out and watch it.
"I always tell the student-athletes that, as a coach, I am going to treat them as a human being first, a student second and an athlete third," Peterson stated. "If they get out of line in those orders, then this is probably not the place for them to be because we are going to work to help you grow in those areas and in that order."
"Buzz cares about his players and has been a great influence on his student-athletes as they strive to represent their teammates and the institution in a positive manner, both on and off the court," Koegel continued. "He will be a great ambassador of Coastal Carolina University in the area as well as throughout the state of South Carolina."
Peterson has been a successful head coach at three other schools during his coaching tenure. Most recently, he was the head coach at Tennessee, posting an overall mark of 61-59, including two postseason bids to the NIT. He had six players earn All-Southeastern Conference honors during his four years, including Ron Slay, who was named SEC Player of the Year in 2003.
Prior to that, Peterson spent one year at the University of Tulsa during the 2000-01 season, taking that team to a 26-11 overall mark. The Golden Hurricanes captured the National Invitational Tournament title with five straight wins, including defeating Memphis in the semifinals and Alabama in the championship game.
In his first head coaching job at Appalachian State, Peterson improved the program from just eight wins in 1995-96 to a 14-14 mark his first year. He then had three 20-win seasons and led the Mountaineers to the Southern Conference's regular season title, a pair of SoCon Coach of the Year awards and a place in the SoCon Tournament championship game each of those three seasons. The 1999-2000 season culminated in Appalachian State winning the league's tournament title and earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Peterson began his coaching career as an assistant under Tom Apke at Appalachian State, where the Mountaineers posted a 36-23 record during that time. Peterson then joined Les Robinson's staff at East Tennessee State for one year, where the Buccaneers won the Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles, earning the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament for just the third time in school history.
Peterson then followed Robinson to North Carolina State for the next three years, which included a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the Wolfpack in 1991. He then went on to Jan van Breda Kolff's staff at Vanderbilt in 1993, serving as the associate head coach for the Commodores. During his three-year tenure, Peterson was a part of a 51-41 overall record, including two appearances in the NIT and the NIT title game in 1994.
As a player, Peterson was a Parade and McDonald's All-American at Asheville High School and was named North Carolina's Player of the Year and Athlete of the Year. He accepted a scholarship to North Carolina, where he roomed with the runner-up for both of the state's awards the previous season, Michael Jordan.
During his four years with the Tar Heels, Peterson helped the Tar Heels to a 115-22 mark, four Atlantic Coast Conference championships, one ACC Tournament title and four appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He was a part of North Carolina's 1982 national championship team and was voted the Outstanding Senior by his teammates following the 1984-85 season.
Peterson and his wife Jan have three children: Nicole (14), Olivia (10) and Rob III (8).is in his second season as the head men's basketball coach at Coastal Carolina University. He is the fifth coach in Coastal Carolina's 31-year basketball history.