Brad Peterson is in his fourth year as head cross country coach for both the men and women and is also the head men's track and field coach at Friends University. Peterson is in charge of all of the men's and women's distance and middle distance runners.
In cross country in 2011, Peterson led both the men's and women's teams to history making seasons for the Friends University program as both qualified for nationals for the first time in school history and they finished 3rd in the nation at the cross country national championships in Vancouver, Washington. The men's team stopped the 31 year streak of Southwestern by defeating them at the KCAC Championships. The women's team won the conference meet for the first time in school history. Peterson coached Jordan Arnold to a 7th place finish and Javier Ceja to a 29th place finish at the national meet. Both received All American honors for their performances.
In indoor track in 2012, Peterson led the men to their first ever indoor conference championship and also coached the distance women as they led the women's team to a conference title. Indoors was capped off by Jordan Arnold finishing as the national runnerup in the 5000 meters, Cecilia Burley finishing 3rd in the 3000 meters, and Javier Ceja finished 8th in the 5000 meters. All received All American honors for their finishes.
In outdoor track in 2012, Peterson led the men to their first ever outdoor conference championship and also coached the distance women as they led the women's team to their third straight conference title. The men's team snapped Southwestern's 29 year conference streak. This capped off the triple crown for both the men's and women's teams as both teams won every single conference title between cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track.
Highlights for Peterson's athletes in track and field thus far in his time at Friends University on the men's side are the following: Javier Ceja has run 14:48 for 5k and 30:20 for 10k and 66:50 for the half marathon; Matt Ditzler ran 30:12 10k in 2011 to break the school record by three minutes and he also holds the 3k school record of 8:32; Dan Neidlinger ran 31:05 for 10k, 69:30 for half marathon and also ran 15:11 for 5k; Michael Gurley ran 1:54.88 for 800 meters after never breaking 2:00 in high school and he also ran 3:59 for 1500 and 9:30 for the steeplechase; Cameron Sprague ran 15:01 for 5000 meters and 4:00 for 1500 meters.
Highlights on the women's side in track and field for Peterson's athletes are the following: Jordan Arnold running 17:08 for 5000 meters and breaking the school record. Arnold never broke 19:00 in high school; Cecilia Burley running 10:05 for 3k and 17:36 for 5k and 4:38 for 1500; Karissa Cominator running 37:22 for 10000 meters and breaking her own school record. She also ran 17:56 for 5k indoors and qualified for the marathon national championships with a 1:23:00 half marathon.
Before Friends University, Coach Peterson started the track and cross country programs at Indiana Tech University from scratch and built a top 10 national team in just two years. The men's cross country team placed 5th at nationals and the women placed 7th in 2008. He coached Alissa McKaig to the national championship in cross country and Camron Walter to a 7th place finish at nationals in 2008. He also coached McKaig to three different national championships in track in the same year, two in the 5k and one in the 10k. Coach Peterson coached McKaig to a qualifying mark in the 2009 USA championships in the 10k and helped her to a professional contract at ZAPP Fitness. He also coached Rod Waters to the national championship in the 110 hurdles in 2008.
Before coaching college, Peterson was the men's and women's track and cross country coach at Concordia Lutheran High School and Northrop High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he coached 12 different state champions in the one class Indiana state meet. The highlights at Concordia were coaching the women's team in 2004 where he coached the following state champions: Alissa McKaig, 4:49 mile and a 10:29 2mile, Adele Mitchell, 4:56 mile and 10:46 2mile, Amber Williams, 14.32 100 hurdles, Christina Whitt, 24.40 200 meters, and Joy Eloms, 11.92 100 meters. He also coached the 4x100 girls team to a 46.12 state championship time. All of these young ladies went on to full scholarships at division one schools: Michigan State, Wake Forest, Ball State, Baylor, and Western Michigan. Peterson is the only coach in Indiana history to coach back to back different athletes to state titles in cross country in Alissa McKaig and Adele Mitchell. At Northrop, Peterson coached Brett Tipton to a 1:49 800 meters and a national title in the 800 in 1999, and also helped him earn two state titles in the 1600 meters. Peterson was the first coach in state history to coach a one-two finish in the 1600 from the same school in Tipton and Nathan Peffley in 1999. Peterson also coached the national runnerup 4x8 relay team in 1998 as they ran 7:41.
Peterson was born and raised in Fort Wayne, where his parents, Barrie and Judy still reside. He has two brothers, Mike and Jeff. He has two nieces, Amber and Taylor, and three nephews, Shane, Luke and Justin. He graduated from Concordia Lutheran High School then Ball State University, with a major in English and a minor in Physical Education and Health. He also earned his Master's degree in Administration from Indiana University.
|Jonathan Ayin||SO||Throws||Aien, Hawaii|
|Quentin Benning||SR||Throws||San Antonio, Texas|
|Alstin Benton||JR||Distance||Ponca City, Okla.|
|Dylan Biedron||FR||Jumps||Wichita, Kan.|
|Will Bothwell||FR||Sprints||Hutchinson, Kan.|
|Steven Buesch||JR||Throws||Wichita, Kan.|
|John Burba||SO||Throws||Haven, Kan.|
|Chris Caire||FR||Distance||Wichita, Kan.|
|Javier Ceja||SR||Distance||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|Cortlin Couture||SO||Throws||Littleton, Colo.|
|Taylor Cross||FR||Jumps||Wichita, Kan.|
|DeAntae Daniels||FR||Sprints||Wichita, Kan.|
|Michael Gurley||JR||Mid Distance||Wichita, Kan.|
|Paul Hays||SO||Throws||Garden Plain, Kan.|
|Mitchell Heller||FR||Distance||Lenexa, Kan.|
|Daniel Herbert||SO||Distance||Wichita, Kan.|
|Spencer Hoch||FR||Mid Distance||Maize, Kan.|
|Robert Kinnick||FR||Sprints||Rose Hill, Kan.|
|Braden Lebeda||FR||Hurdles||Caldwell, Kan.|
|Billy Littlejohn||FR||Sprints||Wichita, Kan.|
|Prevonn Lofties||FR||Throws||Corpus Christi, Texas|
|Frank Miles||SR||Jumps||Oklahoma City, Okla.|
|Daniel Moran||SO||Sprints||Maize, Kan.|
|Daniel Neidlinger||SR||Distance||Plymouth, Ind.|
|Kirt Nichols||SR||Throws||Junction City, Kan.|
|Nathan Nonhof||SR||Jumps||Holcomb, Kan.|
|Brock Nooney||SO||Distance||Haysville, Kan.|
|Timothy Patterson||SR||Distance||Garden City, Kan.|
|Adrian Porter||JR||Sprints||Tulsa, Okla.|
|Anthony Porter||JR||Mid Distance|
|Marquis Pratt||FR||Sprints||Tulsa, Okla.|
|Derek Racette||FR||Javelin||Hutchinson, Kan.|
|Peter Reed||FR||Distance||Sterling, Kan.|
|Nehemiah Scott||FR||Javelin||Wichita, Kan.|
|Cameron Sprague||SO||Distance||Hutchinson, Kan.|
|Lewis Taylor||SO||Hurdles/Sprints||Wichita, Kan.|
|Joshua Thompson||FR||Throws||Wichita, Kan.|
|Nathan Thompson||SO||Throws||Sedgwick, Kan.|
|Peyton Wade||FR||Distance||Haviland, Kan.|
|Markus Warner||FR||Mid Distance||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Timothy Wescott||SO||Distance||Wichita, Kan.|
|Tyler Wilson||FR||Vault||Rose Hill, Kan.|
|Daniel Yonash||SR||Javelin||Belle Plaine, Kan.|