Wisconsin-Eau Claire adds Smith, Peterson to Men’s Basketball Staff

 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Head Men’s Basketball Coach Zach Malvik has completed his coaching staff by announcing the additions of Adam Smith and Nate Peterson as assistant coaches.

Malvik, entering his first season as head coach of the Blugolds, has surrounded himself with coaches from the highest levels of college basketball. Peterson joins UW-Eau Claire from the University of Colorado, while Smith moves to Eau Claire from the University of Wisconsin.

“I’m really excited to be adding both Coach Smith and Coach Peterson to our staff,” Malvik said. “Both of these guys bring important qualities that I was looking for in assistant coaches when putting this staff together. They are great at building relationships and they really care about the development of our student-athletes both on and off the court.”

Smith joins UW-Eau Claire after three seasons with the University of Wisconsin. He was a graduate assistant with the Badgers from 2021-2023 before serving as the program’s Video and Operations Analyst in the 2023-24 campaign. He was part of Wisconsin’s 2022 Big Ten Conference regular season championship and the Badgers’ NCAA Tournament teams in 2022 and 2024.

Smith’s stint with the Badgers was preceded by one year as a student assistant at the University of  Minnesota Duluth. The Kaukauna, Wisconsin, native played for the Bulldogs from 2017-20 before moving into an assistant role for the 2020-21 season. He graduated from Minnesota Duluth with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2021 and later earned a Master of Science degree at Wisconsin.

“I’m thrilled to join Coach Malvik’s staff at UW-Eau Claire and to have the opportunity to contribute to such a storied basketball program,” Smith said. “I’m especially excited for the new challenges that lie ahead in the coming months, and to work closely with all of those involved in Blugold Basketball in the past, present, and future. Further, I’m grateful for the chance to establish myself in the coaching profession at such a great university, in an incredible city, in my home state of Wisconsin. Coach Malvik’s vision for the program left me with no doubt that Blugold Basketball is going to have some very special seasons in the near future and I’m appreciative to play a role in it. Go Blugolds!”

“Coach Smith is someone who I have followed for a long time,” Malvik said. “From his playing career at Kaukauna High School, winning a state championship and then playing for a really successful program at Minnesota Duluth, he is a winner! He was tough as nails as a player and is the same way every day in the office, on the recruiting trail and on the court. He was part of the program at the University of Wisconsin the past three years and has gained valuable experience that will help him really elevate our program here.”

Peterson was a graduate assistant at Colorado for two seasons from 2022 to 2024. He was part of a coaching staff which steered the Buffaloes to a school-record 26 wins in the 2023-24 season, capped by a pair of NCAA Tournament wins in a run to the round of 32.

Prior to his time at Colorado, Peterson was a student assistant at Lewis & Clark College — his alma mater — from 2018-2022. The Richmond, California, native graduated from Lewis & Clark in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and earned a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Colorado in 2024.

“I am extremely excited to join Coach Malvik’s staff here in Eau Claire and to be a part of the Blugold community,” Peterson said. “Getting to work at a top-notch institution like UWEC for a basketball program with so much tradition and history makes this a dream job for me. I can’t wait to get to work.”

“Coach Peterson is another guy that comes from a successful Division I program the last two years at University of Colorado as well as having a Division III background from Lewis & Clark College,” Malvik said. “He is driven and has a great work ethic and will add a ton of value to our program in all areas.”

The Blugolds will begin a historic 2023-24 season in November. UW-Eau Claire’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will begin playing in the state-of-the-art Sonnentag Event Center this winter.


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