Combine Takes Place On Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6
Kate Peterson Abiad Has Guided CSU To Two NCAA Tournament Appearances Throughout Her Tenure
No. 7 CSU at No. 2 YSU - Wednesday, March 13 - 7:05 p.m.
Cleveland State vs. Valparaiso - Saturday, March 2 - 2:00 p.m.
Cleveland State at Green Bay - Thursday, Feb. 14 - 8:00 p.m. EST
During her nine years at the helm of the Cleveland State women's basketball team, head coach Kate Peterson Abiad has systematically built a program that has turned into one of the perennial contenders in the Horizon League.
Now that Peterson Abiad has established the Vikings as one of the top programs in the Horizon League, that is where she would like to keep it. She has a strong core of returning players for the 2012-13 season that will certainly continue the success the Vikings have had in recent years.
Plaqued with injuries, Peterson Abiad was forced to play a young lineup during an up and down 2011-12 season. Last year the Vikings were led by Shalonda Winton, who became the fifth player to earn All-Horizon League first team honors under Peterson Abiad. Winton also earned all-defensive team accolades, continuing the excellence of Peterson Abiad's defensive style of play.
Peterson Abiad reached another career milestone during the 2011-12 season, becoming the all-time winningest coach at Cleveland State with a 70-68 victory over Milwaukee on Feb. 18, 2012. She finished the season with 118 career victories and a .426 career winning percentage.
During the 2010-11 season, CSU won 21 games en route to reaching the postseason, the second most wins in program history. Included in those 21 wins was Peterson Abiad's 100th career victory, as she became the third coach in program history to reach the milestone.
The Vikings finished the regular season ranked second in the Horizon League with a school record-tying 12 wins. Shawnita Garland was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in her career and earned first team all-league honors.
It's no surprise that Garland was honored, as Peterson Abiad has built her philosophy around a strong defense with a lot of ball pressure and a five-out motion offense, geared to wear down the opposition with constant movement and cutting.
During the 2009-10 season the Vikings won the Horizon League Championship for the second time in the past four years and earned the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament that went with it. CSU entered the league tournament as the No. 4 seed, but were playing some of their best basketball of the season down the stretch, winning five of their final six regular season games.
Having peaked at the right time, CSU got past UIC in the quarterfinals and played a near flawless second half and overtime session to win at Green Bay in the semifinals before topping Butler in the championship game.
Kailey Klein (2006-10) was a large part of both NCAA tournament teams for CSU, as she left as the all-time leading scorer in school history with 2,140 points. Under Peterson Abiad, Klein became the first Viking to be named the Horizon League Co-Player of the Year since 2000, doing so following the 2009-10 season.
It was just four short years ago that Peterson Abiad's hard work and dedication on the recruiting trail, in the office, in the film room, at practice and on the sidelines paid off when she led CSU to a 70-56 win over Wright State in the Horizon League Championship, securing the programs first bid to the NCAA Championship in school history.
CSU defeated Butler in the opening round and upset top-ranked Green Bay in the semifinals to reach the championship game. The Vikings finished 19-14 overall, falling at eventual national runner-up Stanford in the NCAA first round.
The 2007-08 campaign capped a remarkable turnaround as the Vikings were coming off an 8-22 season and were tabbed to finished eighth of 10 teams in the Horizon League preseason poll of coaches, sports information directors and media.
The 11-win turnaround was the fifth best in the nation, as well as the best turnaround from one season to the next in school history.
Named the sixth head coach in school history on April 25, 2003, Peterson Abiad has spent the last 20 seasons as an assistant or head coach at the collegiate level.
She has been part of five NCAA tournament teams and two NIT teams, including the 1999-00 NIT Champions at Wisconsin.
After serving as an assistant coach for a combined 12 seasons at Indiana, Eastern Illinois and Wisconsin, she received her first collegiate head coaching job when she was chosen to lead the Vikings.
Peterson Abiad wasted little time in making a name for herself upon arriving in Cleveland, leading CSU to a 12-16 mark, including a then school-record nine league wins and a fourth place Horizon League standing in her first year at the helm. It marked the first time in five seasons that the Vikings finished better than .500 in conference play.
The success became tempered over the next three seasons, as youth and injuries forced Peterson Abiad to tinker with players and rotations. The Vikings won just 16 combined games over those three seasons.
An assistant at Wisconsin for six seasons prior to her arrival in Cleveland, Peterson Abiad served as the Badgers' chief recruiter, beginning in 1998. Under head coach Jane Albright, Peterson Abiad helped the Badgers bring in two top-10 freshman classes during her final four years with the Badgers.
She was responsible for the signing and development of WNBA draftees Tamara Moore and Jessie Stomski and was instrumental to the Badgers inking Nina Smith,who was named the 1999 National Player of the Year by USA Today.
While in Madison, the Badgers advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times (1998, 2001 & 2002). In addition, Wisconsin won the 2000 WNIT championship after falling in the title game the year before. Wisconsin posted a 104-79 mark with Peterson Abiad on the bench, including 21 win seasons in 1997-98 and 1999-2000.
Prior to her stint at Wisconsin, Peterson Abiad was an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois for four years (1993-97), joining the staff as the chief assistant in 1993. She played a large role in the Panthers posting a 16-12 record and advancing to the conference semifinals in 1994-95--two years after the team won just two games.
During her tenure in Charleston, Ill., Peterson Abiad served as the recruiting coordinator, was responsible for scouting opponents and developed a strength and conditioning program. She also assisted with practice planning and implementation and coached individual workouts.
Peterson Abiad received her first coaching opportunity during a two-year stint at Indiana, helping the Hoosiers to a 30-25 record from 1991-93. While at Indiana, she gained familiarity with the Big Ten, serving as a graduate assistant for one year and a restricted earnings coach. She later took on unexpected duties including scouting, on-campus recruiting and on-court coaching in 1992-93, helping the Hoosiers to a 14-13 mark.
A native of River Falls, Wis., Peterson Abiad graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she earned honorable mention Kodak All-America honors as a senior in 1990-91. A four-year starter and the 1991 Team MVP, she twice garnered all-conference recognition and set an NCAA Division III national record for three-point field goals made per game (3.85) during the 1990-91 season. She was inducted into the UW-Stevens Point Hall of Fame in 2000.
Peterson Abiad earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Stevens Point in 1991, and her master's degree in counseling and educational psychology from Indiana in 1995.
In addition to her college coaching experience, Peterson Abiad served as the coach for an Athletes in Action camp held in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1992, and has worked a variety of summer basketball camps and served as the director of the UW-Stevens Point summer basketball camp in 1991.
Peterson Abiad lives in North Royalton with her husband, Phil Abiad, an assistant coach with the CSU volleyball program for the last 14 seasons, and their daughter Mea.
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