HONOLULU – University of Hawai'i head women's basketball coach Laura Beeman announced the hiring of the first two coaches on her inaugural staff. Mary Wooley will rejoin Beeman in Hawai'i after spending the last three seasons at USC while Gavin Petersen will remain for his second straight season with the women's basketball team.
Wooley has served as an assistant with the Women of Troy basketball program for the past three seasons. In conjunction with her coaching career, she is also continuing to pursue her PhD in kinesiology, specializing in exercise and sport psychology.
Wooley started her career as the director of basketball operations at Temple for three years. While at Temple, she was instrumental in all phases in the development of the Dawn Staley Basketball Camp and Academy. Prior to her role as director, she served as the Owls' graduate assistant for three seasons while pursuing a master's of education in counseling psychology, which she earned in 2005.
Wooley was a four-year letterwinner at Division II South Carolina Aiken where as a forward and team captain, she helped lead the Pacers to a conference championship and back-to-back division titles. Wooley also helped USC Aiken to its first-ever NCAA Division II tournament appearance.
"Mary brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from a variety of elite Division I levels. Coach Wooley knows how to cultivate relationships." Beeman continues, "She is extremely versatile within her skill set as a coach, has a tireless work ethic, and has always been motivated to be the best she can be for the players she works with. I was thrilled when she accepted the coaching position to come with me to Hawai'i. The players are in for a huge treat having Coach Wooley in their lives."
Last season, Petersen returned to Hawai'i's women's basketball program after spending seven years honing his coaching skills in the state of Idaho. He was hired first as an assistant and then promoted to associate head coach at Idaho State by former Hawai'i assistant coach Jon Newlee. He then followed Newlee to the University of Idaho also as an associate head coach. Petersen has been instrumental in helping turn around both programs into conference contenders.
At Idaho State, Petersen helped to lead the Bengals to a Big Sky Conference title and an NCAA tournament appearance in 2006-07 and a pair of Women's National Invitational (WNIT) tournament appearances in 2005-06 and 2007-08. During his four year stint at Idaho State, his players earned three Kodak All-America Honorable Mention awards; nine All-Big Sky Conference honors; and 17 Academic All-Big Sky Awards. Petersen was responsible for scouting reports on all opponents; acted as recruiting coordinator; projected the travel budget and organized all of the team's travel arrangements; while serving as the post players' position coach.
As the associate head coach at Idaho, Petersen was integral in successfully changing the culture of a Vandals' program that had previously won just 11 games in its first three seasons in the Western Athletic Conference. After arriving on the Moscow campus, Idaho won 38 games over the past three years and finished third, fourth and fifth in conference. In 2010-11, the Vandals were invited to the Women's Basketball Invitational tournament (just the second post-season tournament appearance in school history).
Petersen went to University High School in Honolulu where he played guard for the basketball team and was a running back/defensive back for the Pac-Five football team. He began his collegiate basketball career as the manager for Hawai'i Pacific under Sea Warriors head coach Tony Sellitto for four years while earning his bachelor of arts degree in justice administration. Petersen then matriculated to the University of Hawai'i where he received his master of science in kinesiology and leisure science in 2009. During his time at UH he served as the Rainbow Wahine basketball team manager for three seasons before spending his final two seasons as an assistant coach in 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons under Vince Goo.
"Gavin's love for Hawai'i and the Rainbow Wahine program resonated with me the first time we spoke," say Beeman. "His connection to Hawai'i, the current players and the culture of Hawai'i is something that I felt I wanted on my staff. He is well respected throughout the UH community. I look forward to working with him and having him be apart of the new era of Rainbow Wahine basketball."