Assistant Head Coach - Sprints/Hurdles/Jumps
Russ Peterson was brought onto Miami’s coaching staff as an assistant coach prior to the 2015-16 season. He works primarily with the RedHawk sprints, hurdles and jumps.
During his first year at Miami, Peterson had an immediate impact in moving several returning competitors up on the school’s top-10 list. Under his tutelage, Kenny Glenn broke the school record in the long jump at the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships en route to his second-straight appearance at the NCAA East Region Preliminary meet. Glenn’s mark also got the sophomore into the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Since then, Peterson has developed a number of NCAA Preliminary qualifiers and a pair of MAC Champions. In 2017, he helped Alexus Jimson-Miller make her second-straight NCAA Preliminary appearance thanks to breaking the school record in the 100m hurdles, en route to a MAC title in her senior campaign. He has also been an instrumental part in the development of Olivia Bechtel and a potent group of 400m runners, which Bechtel anchored to a conference title in the 4x400m in 2018.
Additionally, five of Peterson’s student-athletes have combined for six appearances at the NCAA East Region Preliminary with three qualifying in 2016 as senior Peter Stefanski (high jump) returned after a one-year absence while senior Kathie Wollney (400m hurdles) and junior Alexus Jimson-Miller (100m hurdles) earned their first postseason trips. Wollney clocked the second-fastest 400m hurdle time in school history at the postseason meet while Jimson-Miller also improved on her third-place personal best.
Peterson came to Miami from Western Illinois, where he served as assistant track and field coach and head cross country coach. WIU finished its track season with strong performances in the 4x100m, 100m and 200m. Nine Leathernecks finished the season as All-Summit League performers.
Before heading to WIU, Peterson spent two years as a volunteer assistant coach with his alma mater, Iowa. While with the Hawkeyes, Peterson coached the sprinters and hurdlers. While working under Joey Woody, Director of Track & Field/Cross Country at Iowa, 10 Hawkeye sprinters earned All-American honors while picking up five Big Ten Championships. During his two years at Iowa, every sprint and hurdle event, including the relays, saw new athletes break into the school top 10 list.
Prior to joining Iowa, Peterson was the assistant coach for sprints, hurdles and field events at Colgate University for four seasons. In his time in Hamilton, he pushed the Raiders to their best ever finish in the Patriot League. During his tenure at Colgate, Peterson’s athletes broke more than 40 school records and marked over 60 top 10 finishes. Under Peterson’s instruction, Curry Knox broke six Colgate records and set a new Patriot League record in the 100m (11.70). In his time with the Raiders, Peterson saw 12 league titles and more than 20 conference honors.
Peterson kicked off his coaching career at Augustana College in Sioux Falls while working on his Master’s in Education with an emphasis on athletic administration. In his time with the Vikings, they rose to become a power in the CCIW Conference, culminated by an outdoor track and field title in 2008.
As a student-athlete, Peterson competed in track and field at the University of Iowa, where he finished his career on the top 10 list of six different events. Peterson also was recognized for six All-Big Ten performances, including a Big Ten championship in the 4x100m relay. While competing for the Hawkeyes, Peterson qualified for the NCAA Championships in all eight seasons of indoor and outdoor track.
Post collegiately; Peterson competed at the USA Track and Field National Championships three times, including one trip to the Olympic Trials in 2004. He competed for Competitive Edge Athletics following college with appearances in the Special Invitational 400m hurdles in 2004 and 2005.
Peterson is a native of Manteno, Illinois and a graduate of Manteno High School where he was selected to the All-State squad in soccer and track. He finished his high school career as the state champion in the 300m hurdles.
Off the track, Peterson lives in Oxford, with his wife Brittany, son Stetson, and loyal companion Diesel.