Skip to main content

Peterson, Dan, 1936-



Daniel Lowell Peterson, Jr. was born in Evanston, Illinois, on January 9, 1936. He grew up in Evanston and attended Evanston Township High School between 1949 and 1953. After completing high school, Peterson attended the University of Illinois for a year before transferring to Northwestern University in 1955. He graduated from Northwestern in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Education. Peterson continued his formal education at the University of Michigan, earning a master’s degree in Physical Education Administration in 1962. Shortly out of college, Peterson became the junior varsity basketball coach at McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois. In 1963, he accepted the freshman coaching job at Michigan State University and remained there for two seasons, until taking a freshman coaching job at the United States Naval Academy in 1965. Peterson coached one season with Navy and in 1966 accepted appointment as the head basketball coach at the University of Delaware. At Delaware, Peterson coached his team to winning records every season, and was named 1971’s Coach of the Year for having the best five-year record of any coach in the West Division of the Middle Atlantic Conference. Shortly thereafter, through the Peace Corps, Peterson became the head coach of the Chilean National Team, whom he coached until 1973. He then moved to Italy and coached Vitrus Bologna until 1978, winning the 1974 “Coppa Italia” and the Italian League Title in 1976. In 1978 he became the head coach of Olympia Milano where he won four Italian titles, two “Coppa Italia” awards, a Korać Cup, and one European Championships Cup. He retired in 1987 only to come back to coach the Olympia Milano team for one more season in 2011. During his retirement from coaching, Peterson became a popular sports commentator on Italian television. He has written and contributed to numerous articles and books, conducted clinics on basketball and on coaching, and has accepted many public speaking engagements.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Dan Peterson (1936- ) Papers

Identifier: 31/6/142

A Northwestern University alumnus, Dan Peterson began coaching youth basketball in Evanston, Illinois, and eventually became a coach in international professional basketball, best known for his career in the Italian basketball league. His papers contain biographical information, magazines, newspaper articles, and books pertaining to his basketball coaching career.

Dates: 1953 - 2014