Southwestern assistant will move into head coaching role

Southwestern Community College announced today, Blake Peterson, assistant coach for the men’s basketball program, will succeed Todd Lorensen as the Spartans next head basketball coach.

Peterson, a native of Coon Rapids, MN, came to Southwestern in the summer of 2017. He helped lead the Spartans during an amazing 2017-18 run, ending with a record of 29-8 overall and finishing as number three in the nation at the NJCAA DII National Championship in Danville, IL.

Prior to coming to Southwestern, Peterson coached at NCAA Division II Bemidji State University in Bemidji, MN, during the 2016-17 season, and Saint Mary’s University in Winona, MN, during the 2015-16 season. While at St. Mary’s, the team posted its most successful season in 20 years. Before coaching at St. Mary’s, Peterson assisted at Minnesota State University in Mankato for three years. During his time at Minnesota State, the team qualified for the NCAA Division II National Tournament each season and recorded an 82-18 overall record.

Beth Kulow, Southwestern director of student services who oversees the athletics department, said with Peterson in place, she is confident the Spartans will not miss a beat.

“We are handing the men’s basketball head coaching position over to some extremely capable hands with Blake,” said Kulow. “It was obvious throughout the hiring process, Blake has complete respect from the current players on the team.”

According to Kulow, a number of players from the 2017-18 team will be returning in the fall to play for Peterson.

“The continuity Blake will provide for the program, coupled with his knowledge of the game, will assist us in ensuring the proud tradition of quality basketball in Spartan Nation will continue,” Kulow explained.

During the past four years, the Spartans have compiled an overall record of 113-25, captured two regular season conference championships, and two post-season Region XI Championships. In March 2017, the Spartans earned their first national championship, and then followed it up with their third-place national finish in 2018.

Peterson said he is excited for the opportunity to continue being a part of the Southwestern family and continuing the winning tradition.

“The Spartan basketball program has achieved a great level of success the past few seasons and I look forward to the challenge of keeping the program on a national level,” stated Peterson. “We have a great group of young men returning next year, who we will continue to develop not only on the floor, but academically as well.”

Peterson has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Minnesota State University.

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