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Tom Peterson, the men's volleyball Coach of the Year after Penn State became the first team outside California to win the NCAA Championship, is returning to BYU, where he was a player and coached the 1986-88 club teams to national titles.

Peterson, who attended Orem High and received bachelor's and master's degrees as well as a doctorate from BYU, is taking a leave of absence from Penn State, where he took teams to the Final Four five of the past six years."We're really excited to have Tom back," says BYU coach Carl McGown, who was Peterson's collegiate coach. "We lost a good assistant, but we're gaining one who is a proven winner in all phases of running a volleyball program."

Peterson will teach at Salt Lake Community College and be the BYU assistant men's coach. He replaces Rich Cortez, who accepted a full-time position as the assistant women's coach at San Jose State.

The club teams Peterson played on at BYU in the mid 70s placed third, fourth and eighth twice at the national tournament. After assisting with the women's teams at Utah and BYU, he became the BYU men's coach in 1984 and his success helped generate interest resulting in men's volleyball at BYU becoming an NCAA sport in 1990.

Peterson had a record of 127-49 in his six seasons at Penn State. This year's team was 25-3 and upset defending champion UCLA in the NCAA title match. The Bruins had won 27 in a row after losing to BYU in the season opener. Teams from what is now the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation had won every NCAA crown since national championships started in 1970.