By Damion Martindale
Montana State University-Northern women's basketball coach Ray Peters is resigning from all positions effective May 31, announced MSU-Northern Athletic Director Ted Spatkowski on Tuesday.
Peters is leaving coaching to pursue an administrative career in Olympia, Wash. He was an assistant professor in the health and physical education program at Northern.
"It is a great opportunity for me and my family," Peters said.
Peters will leave the program after four years as head coach, where he compiled a record of 96-34 and earned three-straight Frontier Conference championships from 1997-1999. During those same years, Peters qualified the Skylights for the national tournament and was named Coach of the Year.
This season, the Skylights finished the season 17-13 overall and 7-5 in the conference. For the first time in 12 years, the Skylights failed to be crowned Frontier Conference champions.
Peters said one of his best moments with the team occurred during the 1998 national tournament when the Skylights reached the elite eight at the NAIA Division I National Tournament for the first time in school history. That year, the Skylights were ranked third in the country.
"I would like to thank the administration that I worked for at MSU-Northern," Peters said. "I learned a great deal about being a leader with integrity from Dr. Ted Spatkowski, Dr. William Daehling, and Dr. Mike Rao."
Peters said he and his wife Jessica will also miss the close friends they have made while in Havre.
"Ray did an excellent job in continuing the success of the Skylight basketball program in both the academic and athletic areas," MSU-Northern Chancellor Mike Rao said. "The administration of Montana State University-Northern will miss having Coach Peters as a member of our team."
Jessica Peters will be leaving behind her role as the assistant women's basketball coach and the head women's golf coach, where she was at the helm for three years.
She taught in the physical education program at the college. This past year, Jessica finished her master's degree in counseling education.
"We are sorry to lose Ray. In his four years, he did a tremendous job," Spatkowski said. "I know that the rest of the athletic department joins me in wishing Ray and Jessica the best."