The seventh-year Clayton State head coach was honored on Tuesday as the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Division II Southeast Region Coach of the Year for men’s soccer. While this is the first NSCAA honor for Petersen at the Division II level, he was previously the NSCAA National Coach of the Year at the junior college level in 1994 after leading Spartanburg Methodist to the NJCAA National Championship.
Petersen paced the Lakers to a banner season, finishing 19-4 overall, winning a share of the Peach Belt Conference regular season championship and advancing to the NCAA Division II “Elite Eight” for the first time in program history. Petersen was also selected Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year for the third time in his tenure at Clayton State.
The Peach Belt Conference title was the third for Clayton State under Petersen, as was the NCAA Division II National Tournament berth. In addition, the Lakers finished fifth in the final NSCAA Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, marking the highest finishing national ranking ever for Clayton State.
The 19 victories is also a single-season record for Clayton State men’s soccer.
Petersen is now eligible for NSCAA Division II National Coach of the Year honors. That award will be announced on Jan. 14 at the annual NSCAA Awards Banquet, held in conjunction with the NSCAA National Convention in Baltimore.