MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Lynx today announced that Jim Petersen has informed the organization of his decision to step down as associate head coach.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to have had one of the best jobs in the WNBA for the last eight years and it turned out to be way more than I ever could have possibly imagined,” Petersen said. “As hard as it was to come to this decision, I know that it’s the best thing for myself and my family. I’m forever grateful to this team, in particular Glen and Becky Taylor, Roger Griffith and Cheryl Reeve, for giving me the opportunity to serve as the Lynx assistant and associate head coach. There are countless others to thank, including the players, coaches, personnel staff, support staff, trainers and fans. I will continue to support the team and I expect this historic run to continue for the Minnesota Lynx.”
During his eight seasons with the Lynx, Petersen led opponent scouting efforts as well as played an integral role with in-game strategies. He also worked tirelessly in player development and orchestration of the male practice squad. Petersen helped the Lynx win WNBA Championships in 2011, 2013, and 2015.
The Lynx coaching staff, led by head coach Cheryl Reeve, has built a culture of winning, with three WNBA titles in six years and 155 regular-season victories since 2011, which is the most prolific six-year haul in WNBA history. Under Reeve, Petersen helped develop dominant post players in Rebekkah Brunson and Sylvia Fowles and coached numerous WNBA All-Stars.
“I very much enjoyed the time that Jim and I shared together over the last seven seasons,” said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve. “Jim fully immersed himself into the WNBA and worked extremely hard to become the very best assistant in the league. He was committed to helping us build a culture of winning that has allowed us to enjoy a historic run of success during his time with the Lynx. He brought a prodigious understanding of the game of basketball that benefited all those around him. We are all grateful for his years of dedication on and off the court.”
Petersen was first hired in 2009 by then head coach Don Zierden as an assistant and remained on the bench when Jennifer Gillom took over the reins prior to the start of the season. Reeve retained Petersen on her staff for the 2010 season as an assistant. Petersen remained in that position until prior to the 2016 season when the Lynx announced Petersen had been promoted to associate head coach.
Petersen played eight seasons in the NBA (1984-92) with the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors. Petersen finished with career averages of 6.9 ppg and 4.8 rpg in 491 games, 208 starts.
After leaving the NBA, Petersen worked for the NBA Players Association in their player programs division, facilitating seminars in NBA locker rooms on topics such as AIDS awareness, substance abuse and career/financial planning for life after basketball.
Petersen currently serves as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ television analyst, teaming up with Dave Benz on Fox Sports North. Petersen has been a part of the Wolves’ broadcast team for the past 19 season.
A native of St. Louis Park, Petersen won the Minnesota Mr. Basketball award as a high school senior in 1980. Prior to his NBA playing, WNBA coaching and broadcasting careers, Petersen played four seasons for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, winning the Big Ten Championship in 1982.