LDS coach leads team to NCAA volleyball title

LDS coach Tom Peterson led the Penn State Nitany Lions to the NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship here recently, the first time in 25 years of NCAA men's volleyball that a team outside California has claimed the title.

Coach Peterson, 40, served a mission in Guatemala and earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in physical education from BYU. He is a member of the State College Ward, Altoona Pennsylvania Stake.During the past six years at Penn State, the soft-spoken coach has amassed a record of 127-49, while guiding the Lions to five Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association titles and four consecutive NCAA Final Four championship tournaments. Penn State has finished third twice and fourth once the past three years, and placed third in 1989 under coach Peterson's tutelage.

For his accomplishments this season, Peterson was named American Volleyball Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

"It was a fabulous experience," reflected coach Peterson, after his team won the title. "We had a very cohesive group, and our players were outstanding. It was something very special to have everything come together like it did."

Before being named Penn State head coach in January 1989, Peterson directed BYU to three consecutive national collegiate club championships. A 1978 graduate of the Y., he coached the Cougars' club team from 1984-88.