Robert "Buzz" Peterson became The University of Tulsa's 27th head basketball coach on June 20, 2000 following a four-year stint as head coach at Appalachian State University.
He led Tulsa to a 26-11 record and the school's second NIT Championship during the 2000-01 season.
Peterson brought 13 years of Division I coaching experience to the Tulsa basketball program. Prior to coming to Tulsa, he was a part of five teams that advanced to postseason competition, including three trips to the NCAA Tournament and two appearances in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Peterson played on four NCAA Tournament teams at North Carolina.
In four years at Appalachian State, Peterson compiled a 79-39 overall record and 47-14 Southern Conference regular season mark. His teams won or shared the Southern Conference North Division championship in each of the last three seasons, and posted 20 or more wins in those final three campaigns. Peterson was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year Award in both 1998 and 2000.
This past season, Appalachian State advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time under Peterson by winning the 2000 Southern Conference Tournament. The Mountaineers played in the last three SoCon tournament title games.
In his first season at Appalachian State, Peterson led the 1996-97 team to a 14-14 record, improving eight wins from the season before. His 14 victories were the most by a first-year Appalachian cage coach since 1943. Peterson's club won five of its last seven contests, advancing to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament.
Peterson took over the Mountaineer basketball program nine years after beginning his coaching career as an assistant at Appalachian State. In his two seasons as an assistant coach, the Mountaineers posted a 36-21 overall record, including a 20-8 mark in 1988-89.
Peterson then joined the staff at East Tennessee State under Les Robinson, as the Bucs compiled a 27-7 slate in 1989-90, capturing both the Southern Conference regular-season and tournament titles, and earning a berth in the NCAA tourney. Peterson then moved with Robinson to North Carolina State and spent three years as an assistant coach with the Wolfpack. N.C. State recorded a 20-11 mark in his first season and advanced to the 1991 NCAA tournament.
In 1993, Peterson assumed the position of associate head coach at Vanderbilt, spending three seasons with the Commodores. In his three years in Nashville, Vanderbilt compiled a 51-41 record, and participated in two NITs. The 1993-94 Commodore squad went 20-12 and advanced to the championship game of the NIT, losing 80-73 to Villanova.
A native of Asheville, N.C., Peterson earned four letters in basketball at North Carolina, serving as team captain in his senior season. A member of the Tar Heels' NCAA Championship squad in 1982, Peterson was voted Outstanding Senior by his teammates following the 1984-85 season. In his four seasons, the Tar Heels compiled a 115-22 record, capturing the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season crown four times, and one ACC Tournament title.
Peterson was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA in 1985. He played professional basketball in Belgium and also played for a brief time in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). After leaving pro basketball, Peterson spent one year as a scout for Bob Gibbon's All-Star Sports recruiting service, before beginning his coaching career under Tom Apke at Appalachian State.
A 1986 North Carolina graduate, Peterson holds his bachelor's degree in geography. He and his wife, Jan, have two daughters, Nicole and Olivia, and a son, Rob.
Peterson's Year-By-Year Coaching Record
The Robert "Buzz" Peterson Capsule
College: Earned four letters in basketball at North Carolina, serving as team captain in his senior season . . . was a member of the Tar Heels' NCAA Championship squad in 1982 . . . was voted Outstanding Senior by his teammates following the 1984-85 season . . . in his four seasons, the Tar Heels compiled a 115-22 record, capturing the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season crown four times, and one ACC Tournament title . . . was a 74-percent free throw shooter for his career . . . was a part-time starter as both a sophomore and a senior, mainly operating at the big guard spot, but also seeing action at point guard . . . saw action in 119 career games for the Tar Heels.
Professional: Peterson was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA in 1985 . . . played professional basketball in Belgium and also played for a brief time in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA).
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