Birthplace: Detroit, Mich.
High School: Cumberland, R.I.
Children: Tyler (8), Sydney (6)
George Washington University
Steve Peterson is in his 12th year as head coach of the Indiana rowing program in 2014-15, working primarily with the women's varsity. He was named the second rowing head coach in Indiana history on Aug. 11, 2003, replacing former head coach Mark Wilson.
"Indiana has all of the necessary tools and potential to succeed," Peterson said. "We have great equipment and a fantastic lake to row on. On land, we have plenty of ergs and good weight lifting equipment. We also have a tremendous support staff of strength coaches, athletic trainers, academic counselors and an athletic administration who are excited about our program, and want to help our program to succeed. Couple this with the fact that we are in the Big Ten, one of the strongest rowing conferences in the country, and you have the blueprint to build a powerful rowing program."
Peterson has already made an indelible mark on the Indiana program in 10 years at the helm. His varsity eight squads have posted win totals unprecedented in IU's short rowing history.
During the 2013 season, the Hoosiers tallied 11 wins, including victories over Boston, Purdue, Dayton, Eastern Michigan, Georgetown, Kansas, Texas, Rhode Island, Miami and Alabama. Indiana also registered first-time wins over Michigan State in the 1V8 and the 2V8. Junior Asja Zero was named to the 2013 Croatian National Team and competed in the World University U-23 Championships. Senior Madelyn Shields was selected as a Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) First Team All-Central Region honoree, while the Hoosiers boasted six student-athletes on the CRCA 2013 National Scholar-Athletes list. Shields also earned First Team All-Big Ten honors, while Zero was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team. Indiana also garnered 19 Academic All-Big Ten selections and nine Big Ten Distinguished Scholars.
In 2012, the Hoosiers compiled a 12-6-2 overall mark with wins over Iowa, Boston, Marist, Purdue, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Louisville, Texas, Tulsa, Sacramento State, Central Florida, Duke and Rhode Island. Sophomore Asja Zero was named a 2012 Pocock Second Team All-American, becoming just the third All-American in Indiana Rowing history. She was selected a First Team All-Central Region for a second time in her career to become eligible for the All-America honor. She joins Laura Lazaridis (2005, 2006) and Ellie Benson (2008) on the All-American list at Indiana. Zero is also a two-time First Team All-Big Ten pick. Senior Cara Donley was selected Second Team All-Big Ten, while Zero was also named a Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree. The Hoosiers boasted 28 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, while Kelly Bainbridge, Donley, Kim Gilmour, Rachel Griffin, Kathryn Laine, Elles Niessen, Jaclyn Riedel, Shifumi Terasaka and Ann Thompson were named CRCA Scholar-Athletes.
The 2011 season saw the rise of freshman Asja Zero on IU's first Varsity 8 crew, along with the continued improvement of junior Shifumi Terasaka. The year began with the Hoosiers finishing eighth out of 45 teams at the Princeton Chase with a time of 15:22.103 in the 3-mile head-race beating out Princeton's 'B' crew (15:22.241) at the finish line for one of the best results IU has had in a fall race. The Hoosiers recorded a 14-5 overall mark in 2011, beating Alabama, Boston University, Marist, Purdue, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, Gonzaga, Iowa, Rhode Island, Bucknell and Louisville before finishing in fifth at the 2011 Big Ten Championships. The duo of Zero and Terasaka were named Co-Team MVPs, while Zero was named First Team All-Big Ten and Terasaka was named to the second team. Zero continued to receive awards as she was selected to the First Team All-Central Region by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association. IU also boasted a record 10 student-athletes on the CRCA Scholar-Athlete list, including Cara Donley, Rachel Griffith, Ellie Benson, Catherine Campbell, Karlijn Keijzer, Elisabeth Kleipool, Kathryn Laine, Jaclyn Riedel, Terasaka and Ann Thompson. Indiana also boasted 26 of IU's 109 student-athletes on the 2011 Academic All-Big Ten list.
Zero capped off the 2011 year earning a spot on the Croatian National Team where she competed in the Under 23 World Championships in July, becoming the first-ever Hoosier to qualify for a national team and race at a world championship.
In 2004, his first season with the Cream and Crimson, Peterson directed the varsity eight to as many head-to-head wins - six - as the squad had produced in the entire four-year history of the program prior to that. He also led the Hoosiers to a ninth-place finish in the region, matching the school record, and saw both the varsity eight and the novice eight post school-record win totals.
In his second year at IU, Peterson would guide the varsity eight to another school-record win total in 2005, as the crew produced eight head-to-head victories en route to an 8-5 record. Indiana finished sixth at the Big Ten Championships, marking the highest finish in IU annals, and turned in a seventh-place finish in the region, also a program best. The V8 was named Big Ten Boat of the Week on March 22 after a first-place finish at the Solid Orange Clemson Challenge in Clemson, S.C., marking the first time in school history that an IU shell had taken the league honor. In addition, Indiana produced its first-ever All-American in 2005, as Laura Lazaridis earned second-team distinction.
The 2006 campaign marked another successful season under Peterson, as Indiana matched its school record for V8 wins with eight, and saw the first novice eight post a school-record 10 head-to-head wins to go along with a silver-medal performance at the Big Ten Championships, also a program best. The second novice eight also turned in a school-record win total with seven. Peterson also guided the Hoosiers to its second straight top-10 regional finish, as IU finished ninth. Lazaridis repeated as an All-American.
Lazaridis flourished under Peterson's tutelage. After walking onto the novice squad the year prior to Peterson's arrival, Lazaridis became a two-time All-American during Peterson's tenure. She also earned All-Big Ten Second Boat honors as a sophomore and junior and was voted to the First Boat as a senior. Lazaridis was selected to the Under-23 National Team camp.
In the fall of 2007, Peterson was inducted into the USRowing Hall of Fame as a member of the 1990 US National Team Lightweight Men's Double Scull that won the world Championships in Tasmania, Australia. Earlier that spring, Peterson guided the varsity eight to its fourth consecutive winning season as all of the Indiana crews finished the season with winning records. The season was capped off at the Big Ten Championships when the second varsity four captured the bronze medal.
The 2008 season marked a number of successes for the Hoosiers under Peterson's direction, which were highlighted by Benson being named 2008 Division I Pocock All-American Second Team. Benson, the second All-American in IU history, also earned All-Central Region accolades. The Hoosiers' win over Dayton and Eastern Michigan earned the Varsity 8 boat its first Big Ten Boat of the Week honors since the 2005 season. In the classroom, Peterson's athletes excelled in 2008 as well, as the rowing team had more than 10 Academic All-Big Ten athletes for the 6th year in a row. Three of those athletes achieved National Scholar Athlete honors, and more than half of the team was on IU's Alpha Beta Academic honor roll. As a team, rowing won IU's coveted Champs Lifeskills Challenge. The challenge is a competition between all Indiana University varsity athletic teams designed to encourage academic achievement, personal and career development, community service, and support for fellow athletic teams. It was the rowing team's extensive involvement and volunteering efforts within the community, which ultimately earned them the victory in the challenge.
The 2009 season saw the Hoosiers earn national recognition under Peterson's guidance as Ellie Benson was named to the Collegiate Rowing Association All Central Region Second Team. Kasavana also earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American Third Team honors, while senior Ashley Johnson and sophomore Rachel Anderson earned First and Second Team All-Big Ten honors, respectively.
In 2010, Peterson led the Hoosiers to its first-ever Dale England Cup title, finishing with 101 points, beating Boston University (93 pts.), Central Florida (90 pts.), Miami (31 pts.) and Dayton (26 pts.). The season also culminated in the Hoosiers winning it's third straight C.H.A.M.P.S. Challenge, while individually, senior Emily Kasavana earned the 2010 Elvis J. Stahr Distinguished Senior Award, the Lionel E. Edie Award and the Anita Aldrich Leadership Award. She was also honored as an ESPN The Magazine Third Team Academic All-American. Sophomore Shifumi Terasaka also earned postseason honors after being named a First Team All-Big Ten selection.
Peterson, a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Rowing Team, came to Indiana after serving as the head women's rowing coach at The George Washington University.
Under Peterson's leadership, the GW varsity rowing program captured two Champion International Collegiate Regatta titles, an Atlantic 10 Championship and a bronze medal at the IRA's. George Washington's women's varsity eight never finished lower than second at the Atlantic 10 Conference championship during Peterson's time at the helm and advanced to the 1998 NCAA Championships, finishing the season ranked 15th in the nation. While at GW, Peterson earned Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year honors 2000 and 2001.
In addition to his George Washington coaching duties, which he had held since 1996, Peterson was a United States National Team Coach from 1999 through 2003. His national team athletes won a total of four silver medals and one bronze medal at the World Championships and Pan American Games competition.
Peterson served on the U.S. Lightweight Women's Sculling Development Camp staff in 1998 before moving on to the U.S. National Team in 1999.
Prior to his tenure at George Washington, Peterson served as head coach for the University of Rhode Island from 1989-91 and as URI's assistant coach from 1986-87. While coaching at Rhode Island, Peterson guided the Rams to victories at the New England Championships, Dad Vails and Women's Eastern Sprints. He left URI in 1992 to accept the position of head coach for the varsity lightweight men's crew at Rutgers University, where he would coach until 1995.
During his 17-year career as a head coach, Peterson has mentored 11 athletes that have gone on to earn spots on the U.S. National Team. No fewer than five of Peterson's former athletes have gone on to medal at the World Championships or Olymics.
Peterson is currently serving his third four-year term as a member of the U.S. Rowing High Performance Committee (HPC). The HPC is made up of former elite rowers and coaches who are responsible for planning and implementing the selection procedures for the U.S. National and Olympic Teams.
A native of Cumberland, R.I., Peterson rowed for the U.S. Olympic team in the men's lightweight double sculls at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, placing ninth, and is a seven-time U.S. National Team member.
As a rower, Peterson earned more than 50 rowing medals, from collegiate to elite competition. He competed for the U.S. National Team from 1989-92 and 1995-96, finishing among the top four in the world in the men's lightweight double and quadruple sculls on three separate occasions. His men's double scull won the world championship in 1990 in Tasmania, Australia, and his quadruple scull finished third at the 1989 championship in Duisburg, Germany. Peterson earned the 1990 Vesper Cup Award, presented annually to the U.S. National Team member for outstanding and inspirational achievement in international competition, for his medal-winning performance at the 1990 world championships.
Peterson is a 1985 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where he earned a bachelor's degree in marketing/advertising. As a rower at URI, his lightweight eight crews won the Dad Vail Championships twice, in 1982 and 1984.
In addition to being a member of the US Rowing Hall of Fame, Peterson's success in the sport has also earned him a place in the University of Rhode Island's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Peterson and his wife, Meredith, have two children, Tyler (8) and Sydney (6). The Peterson family resides in Bloomington with their dog, Cricket.
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