Nic Petersen, entering his second season as the assistant coach for jumps, had a stellar first season for Florida. Petersen’s pupils earned two NCAA titles and three SEC crowns in 2013.
Petersen guided senior Omar Craddock to his second consecutive NCAA title in the men’s triple jump outdoors, leaping a new personal best of 16.92m/55-6.25, good for third all-time in program history. Craddock was named the 2013 USTFCCCA South Region Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year after defending his SEC Outdoors title in the event. Craddock also captured his first Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays title with a leap of 16.43m/53-11, leading the nation at the time. Craddock capped off an incredible June by taking home the USA Outdoors title in the men’s triple jump with his all-conditions best leap of 17.15m/56-4.25.
Sophomore Marquis Dendy leaped an indoor personal best of 8.28m/27-2 to claim the 2013 NCAA title in the men’s long jump. The mark was a new Florida school record and NCAA Championship meet record. Dendy was also stellar in the triple jump indoors, finishing fourth with his jump of 16.20m/53-1.75. Dendy was named the USTFCCCA South Region and SEC Men’s Field Athlete of the Year after defending his SEC title in the men’s long jump. His jump of 8.25m/27-0.75 led the world at the time.
Sophomore Ciarra Brewer had a stellar sophomore campaign, setting the new Florida program record in the women’s triple jump at the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships with her winning leap of 13.85m/45-5.25. The mark goes down as a new facility record and SEC Championship meet record as well. Brewer garnered two NCAA All-America accolades and was First Team All-SEC outdoors.
In all, Petersen’s impressive resume includes coaching six individual NCAA Champions, 29 All-Americans, five World Championship team members, three SEC Champions, an Olympian and a collegiate record-holder.
Prior to joining the Gator coaching staff, Petersen spent three years on the coaching staff at TCU, serving as the jumps and multi-events coach for the Horned Frogs. Petersen came to TCU from the University of Nebraska, where he served the 2008-09 season as an assistant coach for the Huskers. In Lincoln, Petersen worked in the jumps area learning under legendary head coach Gary Pepin.
At Nebraska, Petersen mentored five Big 12 Champions and added nine Mountain West Champions to his resume at TCU.
Petersen’s most-recent pupil at TCU, Whitney Gipson, swept the NCAA indoor and outdoor long jump titles in 2012, becoming the third-straight student-athlete to accomplish the feat, joining Southern Miss' Tori Bowie (2011) and UTEP's Blessing Okagbare (2010).
Gipson, the Mountain West Female Athlete of the Year, came just short of securing a spot on the roster for the 2012 Olympic Games, jumping to a personal-best 6.97m/22-10.50 at Hayward Field to finish in fourth-place, only one spot below qualifying for London. By placing fourth overall, Gipson posted the highest finish ever in TCU history at the Olympic Trials in the women's long jump.
In his first season at TCU, Petersen helped departing senior Neidra Covington earn two All-America accolades at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. Covington, who won both the conference and NCAA West Preliminary Round title in the women's triple jump, was the only student-athlete in the Mountain West Conference to earn two All-America honors at nationals in 2010.
At the conclusion of the 2010 season, Petersen was selected to the 2010 USATF Emerging Elite Coaches Camp. He was one of only six collegiate coaches in the United States to receive a USA Track and Field coaching grant to attend the World Junior Coaching Seminar and Tutorial.
During the 2009 indoor season at Nebraska, Petersen helped develop long jumpers Nicholas Gordon and Chris Phipps. Both Gordon and Phipps earned All-America honors at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, with Gordon winning the national title with a leap of 26 feet, 4 1/4 inches.
Gordon, under Petersen's watch, also excelled during the outdoor season this past spring as he was crowned the Big 12 Champion in the long jump with a leap of 25 feet, 11 ½ inches, while also placing third overall at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. He later went on to place third at the 2009 Jamaican National Championships and represent Jamaica at the World Championships in Berlin.
Petersen has worked with such athletes as Dusty Jonas, a 2008 Olympian and NCAA Indoor Champion in the high jump. He has also helped coach three-time All-America honoree Epley Bullock as well as All-American Paul Hamilton.
Prior to coaching, Petersen, who graduated from Nebraska in 2006 with a degree in economics, excelled on the pole vault runway for the Huskers. Overall, Petersen captained three Big 12 Championship squads, while also being named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team in 2003, 2006 and 2007.
Petersen is married to the former Kerri Hanks, four-time women’s soccer All-American and two-time Hermann Trophy winner while at Notre Dame. The Petersens welcomed their son, Greyson, in July 2013.
THE PETERSEN FILE
Birth Date: May 26, 1983
Hometown: Omaha, Neb.
Family: Kerri (Hanks) Petersen, wife; Greyson, son
Education: University of Nebraska, Lincoln (2006)
- Nebraska (2009-2010, volunteer assistant – jumps)
- Texas Christian University (2010-2012, assistant coach – jumps/multi-events)
- University of Florida (2012-present, assistant coach – jumps)