Close search

BW sport management grad fulfilling dream of coaching in the NBA

As the 2023 NBA Playoffs get underway, you'll find a Baldwin Wallace alumnus on the sidelines for the Cleveland Cavaliers, living his career dream.

Austin Peterson (left) during his time with the Canton Charge

Ever since he was a kid, Baldwin Wallace University grad Austin Peterson '17 dreamed of being a coach for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

Now, Peterson will have a front-row seat as the Cavaliers try to win their first NBA championship since 2016.

Peterson hails from Canton, Ohio, where he got his start in the basketball industry as a ball boy for the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers' G-League affiliate, in 2012. As he continued with the Cavaliers organization, he came to BW as a sport management major in the fall of 2014.

Rising through the ranks

In 2021, Austin Peterson shared insights from his work as head coach of the Cavs Legion Gaming Club with BW Esports members.

After graduating from BW, Peterson served as the head coach for Cavs Legion Gaming Club, the Cavs' eSports team, from 2019 to 2021. In that time, he also served as an assistant coach for the Charge before finally reaching the Cavaliers last summer.

It's been a long and difficult road at times for Peterson to get to this point, but he's beginning to live out his dream as a coaching analyst assistant for the Cavaliers.

"This is an inherently tough industry to not only crack into but to stick around in as well. There's been a lot of uncertainty some years," Peterson notes. "I've been very fortunate not only to have been with the Cavaliers organization for the last seven seasons but to also have the great support system of family and friends close by along the way."

Lasting Yellow Jacket connections

Peterson speaks fondly of his experiences at BW, which included serving as a student coach and video coordinator for the Yellow Jacket men's basketball team. He still keeps in touch with the faculty.

"The individual attention and guidance I received at BW is something that I couldn't imagine getting anywhere else, and it hasn't stopped since I graduated. I still talk to my professors on a regular basis and include them in my decision-making as I progress throughout my career."

He also takes any opportunity he can to give back to BW by coming in as a guest speaker for sport management classes.

"I try to give back as much as I can by way of speaking to classes and connecting with as many students and alumni as they send my way, but I'll never be able to truly match the gift of opportunity this program and school has given me," he said.

Media Contact

More News

Sherwin-Williams launches BW career accelerator and learning community

BW students work Super Bowl LVIII for hands-on sport management experience

State approves new BW graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling