|College:||Bethel College '91|
Drew Peterson begins his 13th season as the head coach of the
Campbell softball program. He is a 23-year veteran in the
collegiate coaching ranks, all as a head coach.
Since taking the helm in July of 2000, Peterson has compiled an overall record of 353-354-2 in his 12 seasons in Buies Creek. The 353 victories are the second-most registered by a head coach of a team sport at Campbell. He has amassed a 636-505-4 career mark over 22 seasons as a head coach at Campbell and Bethel College.
Peterson eclipsed the all-time winningest coach in program history back on March 6, 2009, a 10-0 victory against Jacksonville. It was his 246th win as the leader of the Camels passed Julie Brzezinski in the record book.
The two-time Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year has served as the NFCA Publications Coordinator (2005-07) along with being the softball chair for the A-Sun (2003-07), Mid-Central Conference (1994-00) and the NCCAA (1994-97).
In 1995, he was chosen by his peers as the NCCAA Coach of the Year. Peterson is a four-time NCCAA Region Coach of the Year, while earning a total of nine league coach of the year honors.
During Peterson’s tenure at Campbell, players have earned all-conference recognition 24 times and on 11 occasions his players have been named to the league’s all-freshman unit. He has also had 34 players named NFCA Academic All-American Scholar-Athletes on 61 different occasions. Annie Lewis, a member of the Campbell softball team from 1999-2001 was tabbed GTE/Verizon Academic All-American in Petersons first year in Buies Creek, 2001. In 2009, Karlie Love was named to the ESPN The Magazine/Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
While coaching Campbell, the Camels have had victories over several top programs including North Carolina, Virginia and Illinois. In 2008, the Camels picked up arguable the biggest win in the program’s history with a 7-6 come-from-behind elimination-game victory over host school North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. The 2010 season saw Campbell once again knock off a ranked opponent with a 6-4 victory over the then-No. 22 Tar Heels. The 2011 season was marked by Campbell wins over a pair of ACC opponents in Virginia and North Carolina.
In 12 seasons, Peterson’s clubs have set 49 single-season/career team and individual records for their offensive, defensive and pitching performances.
The 2012 campaign brought the Campbell program back to the Big South Conference after a 14-year run in the A-Sun. The Camels finished third in the regular season standings at 12-9 and posted a 30-29 overall mark. It was the sixth time in the last eight seasons that the team finished over .500 and eclipsed the 30-win barrier for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
Co-Freshman of the Year Stephanie Jones highlighted five players that were selected to the pair of Big South all-conference teams. Taylor McGee, Ericka Nesbitt, Sarah Forgacs and Raven Lee were also recognized.
That year, McGee set the program’s all-time home run record with 42. She additionally earned a place on the CoSIDA/Capital One All-District Team.
A new facility was erected and officially opened on March 16, 2012, thanks to the generous supporters of the program. The renovated stadium would later be dedicated on April 20, 2012 to former Campbell catcher Amanda Littlejohn, who lost her battle with cancer on Sept. 1, 2011.
With Peterson at the helm in 2011, the Camels made the A-Sun Tournament for the sixth-consecutive season, which is the longest such streak of postseason berths in the history of the program. Peterson notched his 300th win at Campbell with a 7-6 triumph over Creighton on March 11th in Tempe, Ariz., while career victory No. 600 came at UNC Wilmington (4/12/11).
Campbell also completed the program’s final season of play in the A-Sun by leading the conference in runs, triples, home runs and total bases and ranking in the top three in five other offensive categories.
In 2010 under Peterson’s guidance the Camels made the A-Sun Tournament and were ranked among the national leaders in double plays per game (3rd – 0.49). Campbell also finished among the top half in the conference in nine hitting and pitching categories.
The 2009 season saw the Camels post a 38-16 record as Campbell captured the regular season title in the A-Sun for the first time since 1995. The team continued to perform at a high level and swept the conference tournament for the second time in as many years to make the NCAA Regionals for the second-consecutive campaign and third time overall.
The Camels continued to show prolific power and broke the school home run record with 81, ranking third nationally. The team also set school records in conference wins (16), slugging percentage (.508) and on-base percentage (.383). Campbell was also able to tie the school record for fielding percentage (.966) and posted the second-best winning percentage in school history (.704).
Individually, Peterson was able to secure his second A-Sun Coach of the Year honor with Campbell posting a 16-4 record in league play and winning the league’s regular season title for the first time since 1995. Junior pitcher, Brittany Stanley, was named the league’s Pitcher of the Year (first-time as a member of the Atlantic Sun) and being selected as the A-Sun Tournament MVP for the second-consecutive season.
In the 2008 season, the Camels had a campaign for the ages going 42-25 and winning the A-Sun title with a 4-0 sweep of the conference tournament. The team’s appearance in the NCAA Tournament was only the second in school history and the first in 13 years.
On their way, the Camels nearly rewrote the entire school record book, setting the school record in runs (350), hits (511), doubles (100), RBI (325), total bases (835) and walks (238). Individually, Peterson’s group also set a new a single-season home run (Courtney Quinn – 20), RBI (Amanda Littlejohn – 72) and walks record (Courtney Quinn – 39), while compiling the second most wins in school history.
Picking up his 200th win in Buies Creek was Peterson with a 5-3 victory at Santa Clara on Feb. 29, 2008. He later notched his 500th career victory on April 8, a 5-4 triumph against Charleston Southern.
Peterson was first selected as A-Sun Coach of the Year in 2006 after guiding the Camels to their most overall (31) and conference wins (12) since 1996. Campbell finished fourth in the Atlantic Sun Tournament in its first appearance in postseason play since 1999.
His first milestone came in 2005 as he secured his 100th win at Campbell, a 3-0 triumph over UNC Wilmington on Feb. 8. His 400th career victory came on March 10, 2005, with a 5-1 defeat of Nevada (3/10/05).
On July 27, 2000, Peterson was named as the head coach of the Camels program. He came in and made an immediate impact as the team averaged 25 wins over his first three campaigns.
While at Bethel, Peterson guided his teams to a 283-150-2 record, six Mid-Central (NAIA) Conference championships, four National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) regional titles and the 1995 NCCAA national crown.
A native of Elkhart, Ind., Peterson inherited the Bethel program in 1991 that had won just 16 games in its first 12 years of competition. His first squad went 5-25, but that was the last time a Peterson-coached team suffered through a losing record at Bethel.
Peterson’s second team went 21-18 and won the Mid-Central Conference title. His clubs won no fewer than 20 games from 1992-00, including the 1995 club that established a school record with 45 victories.
Peterson was inducted into the Bethel College Hall of Fame on September 10, 2006.
Honored as the NCCAA National Softball Coach of the Year in 1995, Peterson also was named NCCAA Regional Coach of the Year on four occasions. He was selected Mid-Central Conference Coach of the Year seven times.
In his 10-year stint at Bethel, Peterson coached four NAIA All-Americans and 13 NCCAA All-Americans. His clubs topped the 30-victory barrier five times, including each of the last two seasons. His 2000 squad fashioned a 37-14 mark, while capturing the Mid-Central Conference and NCCAA regional titles.
Peterson served as the Mid-Central Conference Softball Chair from 1994-2000, the NAIA Great Lakes Regional Softball Chair from 1998-2000 and the NCCAA National Softball Chair from 1994-97.
In addition to his softball coaching responsibilities, Peterson served as Assistant to the Athletics Director and as an adjunct professor in the physical education program. He was also the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Bethel from 1990-96.
Peterson entered Bethel in 1987 and played three seasons on the baseball team as a pitcher and middle infielder. Prior to his senior campaign, he was offered the chance of coaching the softball squad. A 1991 graduate of Bethel with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education, Peterson also earned his Master of Ministries degree from Bethel in 1996.
Peterson is married to the former Jennifer Miller of Plymouth, Ind. They have four sons: John (17), Joshua (15), Noah (12) and Benjamin (7).