The University of Minnesota Duluth men’s basketball team has named Tyler Peterson its new assistant coach ahead of the 2023-24 season.
“Tyler brings a winning pedigree and great experience to our program,” UMD head coach Justin Wieck said. “He has done a fantastic job in helping Jamestown to new heights, and we look forward to him doing the same here at UMD. His work ethic and creativity are unmatched and his ability to connect with student athletes is something we really look for in this position. We’re excited to have him join our program.”
Peterson heads back to his native state of Minnesota by way of North Dakota, where he was a part of the basketball program at the University of Jamestown for six seasons. Peterson’s time with the Jimmies started as a graduate assistant during the 2017-18 season. UJ finished second in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) that season and amassed a 20-10 overall record. Three Jimmies earned all-conference honors, and one was named an All-American. The next season, Peterson helped the team in its jump to the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). Talk about a smooth transition- the Jimmies finished 29-6 in 2018-19, winning the GPAC Tournament Championship and qualifying for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Tournament for the first time in six years. UJ would end up making it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen. Four Jimmies earned All-GPAC honors and two were named All-Americans in a year where the squad finished 10th in the national rankings.
After graduating with a Master’s degree in Arts of Leadership from UJ in 2019, Peterson became the Jimmies’ lead assistant ahead of their 2019-20 season. UJ finished with an 18-13 mark, peaking at No. 16 in the national ranks. Five Jimmies landed on All-GPAC teams, including the GPAC Freshman of the Year in Mason Walters. In Peterson’s second year in his new role, UJ reached new heights. A 22-9 season culminated with a trip all the way to the Elite Eight, where the Jimmies would fall to the eventual national champions. Among the three Jimmies to earn All-GPAC honors was Walters, the GPAC Player of the Year. Walters was also a First-Team All-American.
Before UJ’s 2021-22 campaign, Peterson became the team’s associate head coach. Peterson immediately helped lead the Jimmies to a 26-10 record and their third appearance in the NAIA Tournament in four seasons, with UJ ultimately making it all the way back to the Sweet Sixteen. Five Jimmies earned spots on All-GPAC Teams, with Walters repeating as Player of the Year (and as a First Team All-American). 2022-23 proved just as strong- 27-7 overall record, fourth postseason appearance in five years, third-straight trip to the Sweet Sixteen (and fourth in five seasons). Four more Jimmies on All-GPAC Teams, including a three-peat from Walters as Player of the Year. Last season, the forward took it one step further, being crowned the best player in the entire NAIA.
All-told, Peterson helped guide the Jimmies to a 142-55 overall mark, a winning percentage of 72.1%. As an associate head coach, Peterson was 53-17, winning 75.7% of his games. The Jimmies punched a ticket to the NAIA Tournament four times during Peterson’s tenure with the program, and each time, they made it to at least the Sweet Sixteen. In Walters, Peterson helped coach a three-time GPAC Player of the Year, three-time All-American and NAIA Player of the Year.
Before what’s proving to be a successful coaching career even began for Peterson, he was a player himself. Peterson moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Ashland, Wis. to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Northland College. Peterson didn’t just play for Northland basketball’s team- he participated in all 101 games that occurred while he was on the roster. He was a starter in 64 of those contests. During Peterson’s time at NC, the Lumberjacks made their first postseason appearance in 12 seasons.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity that Coach Wieck has given me to return to Minnesota here at UMD,” Peterson said. “I have tremendous respect for how the Minnesota Duluth Basketball has grown to one of the top Division II programs in the Midwest during his tenure, and I am grateful for the chance to learn from him and his staff. I can’t wait to get to work with the current staff and dive into building relationships with the current players and future bulldogs. My family and I are extremely excited to get our feet on the ground and be a part of the amazing Duluth community.”
Peterson is joined by his girlfriend Steph and two daughters, three year-old Stella and newborn Storm.