Monday July 9, 2012Nic Petersen Joins Florida Track & Field Program as Assistant Coach
Nic Petersen, an assistant coach at Texas Christian University for the last three years, will join the Gator coaching staff as an assistant coach for jumps, University of Florida head coach Mike Holloway announced today.
“I could not be more excited to be a part of the Gator family,” Petersen said. “I’m ready to hit the ground running and work hard every day. I’m looking forward to contributing to the program’s winning ways.”
Petersen has spent the last three years on the coaching staff at TCU, serving as the jumps and multi-events coach for the Horned Frogs. Petersen came to TCU from the University of Nebraska, where he served the 2008-09 season as an assistant coach for the Huskers. In Lincoln, Petersen worked in the jumps area learning under legendary head coach Gary Pepin.
Petersen made his mark on the TCU program since stepping onto campus prior to the 2010 season, leading his athletes to earn six All-America honors and snapping the school records for both the long jump and triple jump on the women's side. Overall, his coaching career boasts 20 All-Americans, eight Mountain West Conference champions, four Big 12 champions, three NCAA Champions, two World Championship team members and an Olympian.
“We are very excited to welcome Nic to the Gator Track & Field family,” Holloway said. “He is a very passionate coach and a tireless recruiter who will bring a new level of excitement to our staff and team.”
Petersen’s most-recent pupil, Whitney Gipson, swept the NCAA indoor and outdoor long jump titles in 2012, becoming the third-straight student-athlete to accomplish the feat, joining Southern Miss' Tori Bowie (2011) and UTEP's Blessing Okagbare (2010).
Gipson, the Mountain West Female Athlete of the Year, came just short of securing a spot on the roster for the 2012 Olympic Games, jumping to a personal-best 6.97m/22-10.50 at Hayward Field to finish in fourth-place, only one spot below qualifying for London. By placing fourth overall, Gipson posted the highest finish ever in TCU history at the Olympic Trials in the women's long jump.
“Coach Holloway and his staff are great coaches and great people and I’m thrilled to be a part of this talented staff,” Petersen said. “I have to thank TCU head coach Darryl Anderson for the opportunity he gave me. I wish him and TCU the best in the future.”
In his first season at TCU, Petersen helped departing senior Neidra Covington earn two All-America accolades at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. Covington, who won both the conference and NCAA West Preliminary Round title in the women's triple jump, was the only student-athlete in the Mountain West Conference to earn two All-America honors at nationals in 2010.
At the conclusion of the 2010 season, Petersen was selected to the 2010 USATF Emerging Elite Coaches Camp. He was one of only six collegiate coaches in the United States to receive a USA Track and Field coaching grant to attend the World Junior Coaching Seminar and Tutorial.
During the 2009 indoor season at Nebraska, Petersen helped develop long jumpers Nicholas Gordon and Chris Phipps. Both Gordon and Phipps earned All-America honors at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, with Gordon winning the national title with a leap of 26 feet, 4 1/4 inches.
Gordon, under Petersen's watch, also excelled during the outdoor season this past spring as he was crowned the Big 12 Champion in the long jump with a leap of 25 feet, 11 ½ inches, while also placing third overall at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. He later went on to place third at the 2009 Jamaican National Championships and represent Jamaica at the World Championships in Berlin.
Petersen has worked with such athletes as Dusty Jonas, a 2008 Olympian and NCAA Indoor Champion in the high jump. He has also helped coach three-time All-America honoree Epley Bullock as well as All-American Paul Hamilton.
Prior to coaching, Petersen, who graduated from Nebraska in 2006 with a degree in economics, excelled on the pole vault runway for the Huskers. Overall, Petersen captained three Big 12 Championship squads, while also being named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team in 2003, 2006 and 2007.
Petersen is engaged to Kerri Hanks, four-time women’s soccer All-American and two-time Hermann Trophy winner while at Notre Dame.
THE PETERSEN FILE
Birth Date: May 26, 1983
Hometown: Omaha, Neb.
Family: Kerri Hanks, fiancée
Education: University of Nebraska, Lincoln (2006)
· Nebraska (2009-2010, volunteer assistant – jumps)
· Texas Christian University (2010-2012, assistant coach – jumps/multi-events)
· University of Florida (2012-present, assistant coach – jumps)