Peterson set to take reigns of of Hurricane basketball

Tuesday, June 20th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA -- Buzz Peterson, who won two-thirds of his games in four seasons at Appalachian State, is set to become Tulsa's basketball coach.

The News on Six was first to report that Peterson would replace Bill Self, who left two weeks ago to coach Ilinois.

A news conference will be held at The Reynolds Center Tuesday to announce the hiring., citing a source close to Peterson, said he will sign a five-year contract estimated at $450,000 a season. Peterson told the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal that Tulsa had offered him the job on Saturday.

Athletic director Judy MacLeod had notified the other front-runners, Tulsa assistant Norm Roberts and Texas-San Antonio coach Tim Carter, the Tulsa World reported. Peterson told Houston TV station KRIV: "If all of the details in the contract talks go OK, it will be a go. If not, there may be some problems."

Peterson has guided Appalachian State to a 79-39 record in four years, including an NCAA tournament appearance this year. He played on an NCAA championship team for Dean Smith at North Carolina in1982 and has Smith's endorsement. Peterson roomed with Michael Jordan at North Carolina.

Last year, Peterson accepted the coaching job at Southwest Missouri State but changed his mind fewer than 12 hours later to stay at Appalachian State. Peterson has flirted with other jobs. In the past two years, he was a finalist at Georgia, Georgia Tech and most recently, Houston. Appalachian State this year won the Southern Conference Tournament for the first time since 1979.

The team was expected to challenge for another title next season before the death of leading scorer Rufus Leach, who drowned this month.