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04/16/2012

North Texas scores a winner in hiring former TCU women's basketball coach Mike Petersen

PeersenforblogUnder just about any other circumstance something like this very likely would not be mentioned in this sacred space, but ... North Texas' director of athletics Rick Villarreal hired a good coach/person today, and an old friend.

Former TCU women's basketball coach Mike Petersen will be officially hired to replace Karen Aston as the women's basketball coach at North Texas. Aston recently left for Texas.

Before Jeff Mittie came to TCU and elevated that once punchline program into a consistent postseason player was Petersen; through charm, effort and sheer will he forced an administration to take the program as something more than a giant gnat. Before Mike was at TCU, that program was one of the very worst in the country. He was winning at a place where no one had won.

Petersen was at TCU from 1996 to '99 before he left to become the men's assistant basketball coach at Minnesota to join Dan Monson's staff. Mike wisely got out ahead of Monson being fired there in 2004 to take the women's head coaching job at Wake Forest where he was for eight seasons.

Why would a guy leave the ACC for the Sun Belt?

"Ball is just ball. It doesn't matter to me. The level of the league doesn't matter to me. I loved coaching in the ACC but I'll love coaching in the Sun Belt," he said to me over the phone after he was introduced. "This is not like the men's game. The environment and the culture is different between the two."

Mike traditionally scouts out jobs well; he goes to places that aren't exactly tearing it up, and turns them into winners. UNT was 15-16 last season.

"This deal (at North Texas) is not broke," he said. "We just need to help them grow."

I was Mike's media relations director when he arrived at TCU, so I carry a deep bias. Mike was great to me. One of my favorite lines he had for a player was, "You think you're trying but you're not." 

Mike was a guy who really did like to enjoy his job, but also had a keen sense of when it was time to be serious. He has a wonderful sense of humor, bad posture, is a good goler, and cares deeply about his family, and his job. It's a solid hire.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com 
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Comments

Dentonite

What's not being said here is that UNT will be moving to Conference USA (Alliance) in the very near future. You don't just land a ACC coach without a known upgrade in conference affiliation. Look for a great men's basketball hire in coming days as well. Go Mean Green

hire a mini bus

Congratulations again and again!

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