OFFICIAL: Peters named Head Basketball Coach at NAIA Taylor University

I mentioned Austin Peters as a finalist at NAIA Taylor University back on 4/22 in the DAILY DIRT. His hiring has now been made official. Here’s the release from TU announcing the move:

Taylor University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Kyle Gould, announced on Wednesday that Austin Peters had been hired as the new head coach for the TU men’s basketball program. Peters is set to begin his tenure with the Trojans on Monday, April 29.

“After a thorough national search, we are so excited to name Austin Peters as our next head men’s basketball coach,” stated Gould. “We wanted a coach who was passionate in their personal faith with a strong desire to disciple young men. We also sought a coach who has experience in successful programs with a proven track record of recruiting. Austin fits all of that, while reflecting Taylor’s mission perfectly. We cannot wait to welcome Austin and his wife, Emily, to campus next week to get started building the next chapter of Taylor men’s basketball.”

Peters comes to Taylor after serving the past two seasons as an assistant coach for NAIA men’s basketball power, Arizona Christian, and brings nine years of collegiate coaching experience with him to the TU bench.

“Emily and I are extremely blessed to have this opportunity to lead the Taylor men’s basketball program,” said Peters. “This is a dream opportunity for us to be a part of an institution so deeply devoted to discipling student-athletes. Taylor is one of the premier Christian universities in the country and to lead a storied program with such rich tradition in excellence is an honor and a privilege. We are eager to get to Upland and start the process of building a tough, smart and unselfish men’s basketball program.”

In addition to his most recent stop at Arizona Christian where he helped guide the Firestorm to the NAIA National Tournament Quarterfinals, Peters has also had highly successful tenures on staff at Olivet Nazarene and NCAA Division I Valparaiso.

In his six seasons as an assistant coach with those programs, Peters has helped his teams to a combined record of 150 wins to just 38 defeats, while winning a conference championship and qualifying for a national tournament in all six years.

Most recently, Peters helped Arizona Christian to back-to-back seasons with at least 25 wins and a pair of Golden State Athletic Conference Championships. As the team’s defensive coordinator, Peters coached a pair of GSAC Defensive Players of the Year and two NAIA All-Americans.

The Firestorm’s success carried over onto the national stage, where Peters helped the program to a 5-2 record in the NAIA National Tournament during the past two seasons. ACU went 4-0 while hosting the first two rounds each year, before falling in the Round of 16 earlier this spring and coming up one win shy of the Fab Four in 2022-2023.

Prior to moving west, Peters helped his alma mater, Olivet Nazarene, to a 46-9 record over two seasons. Peters’ time with the Tigers was highlighted by a 31-4 clip in 2021-2022 when ONU touted the top-ranked offense in the NAIA.

During his time in Bourbonnais, Illinois, Peters assisted with the development of two Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Players of the Year and four NAIA All-Americans, while helping the program to CCAC Championships and NAIA National Tournament appearances in each season.

Before taking his first full-time assistant coaching job at NCAA Division III Shenandoah, Peters started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at NCAA Division I Valparaiso. While with the Crusaders, Peters saw the program rank top-10 nationally in defensive efficiency en route to winning the Horizon League Championship in each season.

In addition to his coach experience, Peters has played critical roles in the successful operation of summer basketball camps at Arizona Christian, Shenandoah and Valparaiso.

Peters earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Olivet Nazarene in 2015, before completing a master’s degree in sports administration from Valparaiso in 2017.

Peters, who is married to his wife Emily, will become just the fourth head coach of the Taylor men’s basketball program since the start of the 1947-1948 campaign and will inherit a program that ranks 12th all-time in the NAIA in wins on the hardwood.

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