OFFICIAL: Pete Herrmann announces retirement as men’s basketball coach at Young Harris College

Photo Courtesy YHC Athletics

Thanks to a great source who got us out in front of this one earlier this afternoon (DII DIRT)

Young Harris College President Drew Van Horn, Ph.D., and Director of Athletics Randy Dunn announced Tuesday afternoon that Pete Herrmann informed them that he is retiring as the head coach for the Mountain Lion men’s basketball program at the end of the school year.

Over his 38 years as a collegiate head or assistant coach, Herrmann’s teams won 15 regular season or tournament conference championships, 24 teams advanced to the postseason, nine teams advanced to the NCAA tournaments, including two to reach the elite eight and one that reached the final four of the National Invitational Tournament.

“To all the supporters we have here at Young Harris from the community and the College, it has been a terrific experience the past eight seasons,” said Herrmann. “From the administration, to the community to the support of the other teams, they have made my stay in the Enchanted Valley real enjoyable.

“The biggest thanks goes to the players that restarted the program at YHC,” said Herrmann. “We were always in the hunt every year in the Peach Belt Conference. They earned the respect of everyone in the Peach Belt.”

Herrmann, who coached a United States Naval Academy team led by David Robinson into the NCAA Tournament and served as interim head coach at the University of Georgia for the final 12 games of the 2008-09 season, was selected in September 2009 to become the first coach at Young Harris in four decades since the program was discontinued in 1969.

Herrmann, who recorded a 114-102 mark in his eight seasons in the Enchanted Valley, guided the Mountain Lions to at least 17 wins in four seasons. Herrmann coached eight YHC players to All-Peach Belt honors, including three who were named to an all-region team. Six of his players were also named to the Peach Belt All-Academic Men’s Basketball Team and two were named to the prestigious CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division II Men’s Basketball Team.

“I want to thank coach Herrmann for his commitment, hard work and dedication to building the men’s basketball program at YHC,” said Dunn. “The professionalism that coach Herrmann displayed helped bring respect to the College, alumni, and the men’s basketball program.

“As a coach, I have always felt Pete is the one of the best I have ever been associated with during my career,” said Dunn. “Over the years, I always felt we were never out of a game when Pete was coaching. I think Pete was the right man for the job. As Pete enters into retirement, I wish him and his wife, Sharon, the very best.”

Young Harris went 17-11 in 2016-17 as they won its first Peach Belt Conference title as they were a part of a five-way tie in the Western Division. The Mountain Lions went 15-14 during the 2015-16 campaign and made its second consecutive trip to the PBC Tournament.

The Mountain Lions made their first-ever appearance in the Peach Belt Tournament during the 2014-15 season. The Mountain Lions, who went 13-14, upset Georgia Regents University Augusta (now Augusta University) in the quarterfinals before falling in the semifinals.

The Mountain Lions posted identical 17-9 marks in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons as Young Harris began play in the Peach Belt. In each season, the Mountain Lions have finished in second place in the league’s West Division.

Herrmann led Young Harris to a 22-4 record during the 2011-12 season and was honored by the Georgia Basketball Coaches Association as their NCAA Division II Coach of the Year.

Before coming to Young Harris, Herrmann spent the previous six seasons as the associate head coach at Georgia, and finished his tenure there as the Bulldogs’ interim head coach.  UGA advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2008 after winning the Southeastern Conference Tournament, claiming three victories in a span of 30 hours, including wins over SEC powers Kentucky and Mississippi State on the same day.  In 2009, Herrmann guided a young UGA team to victories over Kentucky, Florida and Vanderbilt during his brief term as interim head coach.

He was the head coach at Navy from 1986-92, taking over the ship prior to Robinson’s senior season.  Herrmann’s first squad went on to win the Colonial Athletic Association championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament as Robinson was the consensus National Player of the Year. Herrmann, who led the Midshipmen to 63 wins, joined the Navy staff in 1980, serving as an assistant until he was promoted to head coach in 1986.

In between his time at Navy and Georgia, Herrmann was an assistant at Kansas State from 1992-94; an assistant at Virginia from 1994-96 and an assistant at Western Kentucky from 1998-2003. In all, he has been on the bench as either a head coach or an assistant in nine NCAA Tournaments, including in 1986 with Navy and 1995 with Virginia, which each reached the Elite Eight.  The 1994 Kansas State squad reached the NIT final four.

Prior to his 29 years as a coach on the NCAA Division I level, Herrmann spent 10 years coaching at the high school and NCAA Division III levels.  In his first coaching stint, Herrmann was an assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach at Byron-Bergen Central High School in Bergen, New York, from 1970-74.  He then went to Hobart College to serve as an assistant coach during the 1974-75 season, before becoming the varsity coach at Midlakes High School in Clifton Springs, New York, in 1975, a position he held until moving to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Herrmann earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 1970.  As a student-athlete at SUNY Geneseo, he was a member of the baseball and basketball teams, twice earning team Most Valuable Player honors on the diamond.  Herrmann was inducted into the school’s athletics hall of fame in 1990.  He also joined the athletics hall of fame at Midlakes High School in 2006.

He and his wife Sharon have a daughter, Lisa, and a grandson, Pete.

Tagged with: