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Petersen named Lakers soccer coach

From staff reports

Clayton College & State University athletic director Mason Barfield named Harry Frederick "Pete" Petersen CCSU's fifth head men's soccer coach Friday. Petersen takes the helm of the NCAA Division II soccer program after former coach John Rootes resigned earlier this year.

Petersen most recently served as the Director of Coaching for the Norcross (GA) Soccer Association, overseeing approximately 1,400 players. Before his three years at Norcross, he served for seven years in the professional ranks, working as a general manager, head coach and president of four professional soccer teams. He had a record of 46-44-1 in the United Soccer Leagues.

His collegiate background includes seven years of coaching experience, of which, six came as a head coach at Spartanburg Methodist College.

His top season came in 1994, leading the SMC squad to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship. He was also named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Coach of the Year that same season.

"We are extremely happy to bring someone into our program who has won a national championship at the collegiate level," said Barfield. "Pete has an impressive background and will continue the great soccer tradition that John Rootes established over the last six years."

Added Petersen, "I consider Coach Rootes the ?Godfather' of NCAA Division II soccer (one of the winningest active coaches), and he certainly left the program in fantastic shape. My goal is to continue to build on what he has done. The players, staff and I, aim to make CCSU and the Atlanta community proud of Laker soccer on an off the field. We have several goals set before us, the ultimate being a national title.

Petersen was president of the A-League Atlanta Silverbacks from 2000-01 and helped lead the franchise to the playoffs, its first appearance in six years. The franchise also received the 2001 Most Improved Club Peer-Rating award and excelled in developing community programs such as a Hispanic Outreach, Super Y Youth teams and local professional camps. He led the A-League Jacksonville Cyclones from worst to first in 1998, and his 1996 South Carolina Shamrock squad led the Select League in goals scored and ranked second nationally in points.

At Spartanburg Methodist, Peterson compiled a 79-28-6 record, coached 10 All-Americas and 19 All-South players.

In addition to his college experience at Spartanburg Methodist, he also served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division II Presbyterian College from in 1999, as well as, serving as an assistant at NCAA Division I Davidson University from 1988 to 1989.

Professionally, Peterson, a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) "A" License and NSCAA "Premier" certified coach, has coached 10 national team members, both U.S. and non-U.S. players, three U.S. Olympic team members, 11 major league professional players, five A-League All-Stars and one Rookie of the Year.

He received his bachelor's degree in history from Presbyterian College in 1985 and a master's degree in sports science from the United States Sports Academy in 1989. Petersen was a First Lieutenant in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army from 1985-1988.

Born in Taiwan and the son of missionary parents, Petersen lived in West Africa for 14 years and has traveled Europe extensively. He and his wife, Mona, have one daughter Priscilla, and currently reside in Kennesaw.

The Lakers are NCAA Division II members and compete out of the Peach Belt Conference.

The CCSU soccer team finished the 2002 season with an 11-6-1 record, its fourth straight winning season.

The Lakers have a 52-17-9 record over the past four seasons, which includes a Peach Belt Conference regular season Championship, a PBC Tournament Championship and two trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. Rootes had a 69-38-9 record in six seasons at Clayton State.