Dan Peterson

For individuals similarly named, see Daniel Peterson.
Dan Peterson
Personal information
Born (1936-01-09) January 9, 1936
Evanston, Illinois
Nationality American
Career information
High school Evanston Township High School (ETHS)
College Northwestern University
Coaching career 1962–2011
Career history
As coach:
19621963 McKendree College (assistant)
19631965 Michigan State University (assistant)
19651967 United States Naval Academy (assistant)
19661972 University of Delaware (69-49)
19721973 Chile national basketball team
19731979 Virtus Bologna (84-34)
19781988 Olimpia Milano (197-69)
20112012 Olimpia Milano (12-6)
Career highlights and awards
  • Italian Cup Champion (1974, 1986, 1987)
  • Italian League Champion (1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987)
  • Korać Cup Champion (1985)
  • 2× Italian Coach of the Year (1986, 1987)
  • Euroleague Champion (1987)
  • European Coach of the Year (1987)
  • Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame (1995)
  • Distinguished Alumnus of Evanston Township High School (2007)

Daniel Lowell "Dan" Peterson (born January 9, 1936) is a former American professional basketball head coach. He resigned his most recent position as the head coach of Olimpia Milano in the Italian Serie A1 after the team was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 2011 Italian league playoffs. The team then announced that he would assume another role with the club. He is nicknamed "The Coach" for his legacy in Italian basketball.


Peterson went to Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Ill. He received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in Evanston and a master's degree from the University of Michigan.

He served as assistant coach for NAIA school McKendree College from 1962 to 1963. From 1963 to 1964 he served as freshmen coach at Michigan State. After MSU, for one season, he was plebe coach at the United States Naval Academy. The next year, at the age of 30, he became head coach at the University of Delaware. In five years there, he assembled a record of 69 wins and 49 losses.[1]

In 1971, he went abroad, acting as head coach of the Chilean national team until 1973. Peterson took his Chilean team on a grueling tour of the United States in 1972.[2] From 19731978, he coached Virtus Bologna in the Italian Serie A1, winning the 1974 "Coppa Italia" and, in 1976, the Italian league title. In 1978, he was hired as head coach of Olimpia Milano where he won four Italian titles (1982, 1985, 1986, 1987), two more "Coppa Italia" awards (1986, 1987), a Korać Cup (1985) and one European Champions Cup (Euroleague), the highest title in Europe for basketball.

In 1987, he retired after coaching in Italy for 14 years, but he resumed coaching on January 3, 2011, with Olimpia Milano. He still holds records for a coach in Italian playoffs with 11 Final Four appearances in 11 years (after which a playoff format was introduced), 9 finals, 4 titles, 74 games coached, and 51 games won.

On January 3, 2011 he became the new head coach of Olimpia Milano after the dismissal of Piero Bucchi. He left in June, succeeded by Sergio Scariolo.


After his retirement he became a popular sports commentator for many Italian television channels.


He received the Coach of the Year award for Europe from the WABC and the Coach of the Year for Italy twice. Following his retirement from coaching, he was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

In 2007, Peterson was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Evanston Township High School.[3]

In 2008, he was named one of the 50 most influential European club basketball personalities over the last half-century.[4]

A poll says that he is the foreigner with the most sexy voice in Italy.[5]


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