Aug. 27, 2013
Peterson Welcomes New Roles and ResponsibilitiesBy David Boyce
Andy Peterson is a Bearcat. He is a people’s person, says his wife Emily Peterson. He is a proven commodity, says Northwest Missouri State athletic director Mel Tjeerdsma.
All those factors, plus much more, made it easy for Tjeerdsma to elevate Peterson to assistant athletic director for facilities on Aug. 9. Peterson will also remain as men’s assistant basketball coach.
“I really think he will add so much because of his knowledge and familiarity where we are at with our program,” Tjeerdsma said. “His work ethic and his commitment to Northwest and Bearcat athletics will be a huge plus for us.
“He is the kind of person that if you have an opportunity to keep him, you keep him. You don’t want to let people like him get away.”
Peterson arrived at Northwest in the fall of 2003. He grew up east of Trenton, Mo., on a dairy farm. He milked cows, tended crops. He also played basketball and was one of those solid, glue guys that are necessary for college basketball teams to excel.
Peterson was a member of the basketball team until 2008 and then spent two seasons at Northwest as a graduate assistant.
Over those years, Northwest and Maryville became as much a part of him as the dairy farm he grew up on.
“Northwest grows on you,” Peterson said. “I can always remember Coach Scott Bostwick say be careful staying around here. This place will grow on you. The longer you are here, the more you like it, the more it appeals to you.”
Peterson did go away for one year to be an assistant basketball coach at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa.
But there was definitely something strong in Peterson’s heart pulling him back to Maryville. He started dating Emily Churchman in 2009. Churchman, a graduate of Park Hill South, was a track star at Northwest and then became a graduate assistant coach for the track program.
When she arrived at Northwest, she never dreamed Maryville would become her first home as an adult.
“I am from Kansas City,” Emily said. “I always thought I would move back to Kansas City. Kansas City people have a lot of pride. My whole family is in Kansas City.
“But when I was a grad assistant and working with coach (Scott) Lorek, I knew I would stay here as long as I could. It was even better being an employee of the athletic department than a student-athlete.”
This truly became a Northwest love story when Emily went to the Peterson’s dairy farm for the first time. The young city woman had to milk a cow.
“It was my initiation into the family,” she said. “It was one of the first things his mom asked me. Here we go. I’m going to be in or I’m going to be out. The milk came out so I was in.”
Emily Churchman became Emily Peterson last summer. She is now an assistant track coach at Northwest.
“It is rare, obviously,” Peterson said of working in the same athletic department with his wife. “It is also great seeing her every day. We obviously get teased quite a bit. I think it is great, both being alums here and working in the athletic department together is special.” Peterson is excited about his new role at Northwest.
“For anybody who graduate from a school and an athletic department as prestigious as ours and have the opportunity to come back and work at it is a dream come dream,” Peterson said. “I don’t think I am any different in that sense.”
Peterson is also happy that he will remain as an assistant basketball coach. With so many seniors returning with experience, this could be a very special season.
“This is the best group of seniors in terms of their personality, their mannerism and the way they hang out together,” Peterson said. “Everything is lining up to be a successful season if everybody stays healthy, obviously and the coaching stays out the way.”
Peterson likes that he can still coach while also be part of the athletic administration. He’s not sure what direction he will go in the future. He is leaning towards administration.
Emily believes her husband has the people skills to be very good in athletic administration.
“He loves being around people and doing what is best for people and anything he can to help people out,” Emily said. “That is why he helps out in so many departments because people can rely on him and trust him. He is a good person to have on your side.”
The 2013-14 academic year is now underway and Peterson couldn’t be happier.
“I truly enjoy going to football games when there 9,000 people out there, going to the soccer match and seeing half the student-athletes out there supporting the soccer team,” he said. “Going to volleyball matches and the baseball players are there going crazy. That was what I enjoyed as student-athlete, supporting other student-athletes.
“The success we have had as a whole department is what excites me, especially being in the administration role right now when I kind of have my foot in every door.”
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
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