In case you missed the news over the weekend, Buzz Peterson has left Appalachian State, traveled about 300 miles down U.S. 421, and landed as the new head coach at UNC-Wilmington. Peterson had a successful return in his one-year stint back in Boone, leading the Mountaineers to a 24-12 record.
Peterson is taking some internet grief for turning into a coaching nomad like fellow Tar Heel Larry Brown, as this is his sixth job since 2000 - App State, Tulsa (one year), Tennessee, Coastal Carolina, App State (one year), and now UNCW, plus two years in basketball operations with the Charlotte Bobcats. Wilmington would seem to be a lateral move at best, but the Seahawks showed Peterson the money with a deal guaranteed at $435,000 the first season, compared to $177,500 at ASU.
Peterson was expected to bring Jason Capel, who was on the staff in Boone, with him to UNCW but multiple outlets are reporting that Appalachian State will name Capel to replace Peterson. This hire is somewhat bizarre because Capel has exactly one season of experience as a college basketball coach, which was this past season as Peterson's assistant at App.
Capel, of course, has a special place in the heart of UNC fans as being the poster child for the 2001-02 UNC meltdown season. He also took some (undeserved) flack for supporting his brother rather than his alma mater in the NCAA tournament in 2009. Capel barely had a cup of coffee in the NBA before bouncing overseas and playing in the D-League, later trying some broadcasting for two years before joining Peterson and the Mountaineers.
If anyone can get UNCW back on track, it's Buzz Peterson, who seems to thrive in this type of environment. Capel is a different story - ASU AD Charlie Cobb, who by many accounts is a junior Ron Wellman in his AD prowess, is taking a huge risk in hiring a 30 year-old with less than a year's experience. Maybe Cobb is following Wellman in head-scratching basketball hiring decisions.
With Jeff Lebo at ECU, that means three of the non-ACC Division I basketball schools in North Carolina have Tar Heels at the helm. Good luck to all three.
Update[THF]: Billy Packer's favorite Tar Heel, Scott Cherry is the head coach at High Point. That means there are five Division I basketball teams in NC with a UNC product running the show: UNC, High Point, ECU, UNCW and Appalachian St.