Pete Strickland begins his fifth season as an assistant coach with the Wolfpack, and has 21 years of Division I coaching experience overall, including serving for seven years as a head coach. Strickland spent seven seasons (1999-05) at the helm of Coastal Carolina, earning Big South Coach of the Year honors (1999-00) and leaving that program with the second most career victories in school history.
While at Coastal Carolina, Strickland helped produce three All-Americans. Under his leadership, forward Torrey Butler was named the 2001 and 2003 Big South Conference Player of the Year and became the first Chanticleer ever named an All-American twice in his career, earning honorable mention honors by the Associated Press. Pele Paelay was also an All-American for Strickland in 2004-05, the same year Jack Leasure won Big South's Rookie of the Year award. One of Strickland's players was the Big South Player of the Year three times in his last five years at Coastal, while three three players made the All-Rookie Team, and two were named Rookie of the Year.
Strickland's teams also excelled off the court, posting the highest graduation rate of any Division I football, baseball or basketball program in the state of South Carolina in 2004-05 according to NCAA statistics.
Strickland's 1999-00 squad was picked to finish at the bottom in their league in the preseason, but Strickland guided the Chanticleers to a third place showing, earning league coach of the year honors for his efforts. That season, his squad ranked third in the nation in three-point field goal percentage, and posted the ninth-most improved RPI in the nation. Strickland compiled an overall mark of 70-127 at Coastal Carolina.
Prior to his stint at Coastal Carolina, Strickland spent 10 seasons at three different Division I schools as an assistant coach. During his stints at Dayton (1995-98) and Old Dominion (1992-94), he served as the top assistant to current Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell. He also spent three seasons on the staff at VMI (1989-91) under Joe Cantafio.
Dayton posted six victories over top-25 opponents in Strickland's last two seasons with the program, with the 1998 squad winning the Atlantic 10 West Division regular season championship and advancing to the NIT's second round. At ODU, Strickland helped the Monarchs to three consecutive post-season tournaments, the Colonial Athletic Association Championship and an NCAA Tournament in 1992. The Monarchs went 42-18 in the next two years, and won back-to-back regular season titles.
A four-year letterwinner, three-year starter and two-year captain at the University of Pittsburgh, Strickland completed his playing career ranked as the Panthers' all-time leader in assists. He was teammates at Pitt with fellow assistant coach Larry Harris. He earned his degree in speech and theater in 1979.
Strickland prepped at DeMatha High School, where he played for Hall of Famer Morgan Wootten. As a senior in 1975, he helped lead the team to the DC City Championship and was named a first-team all-state performer.
Following his collegiate career, Strickland coached and played professionally for the Neptune Basketball Club in Cork, Ireland from 1980 to 1982. Strickland then coached one season at Mt. St. Michael Academy in Bronx, N.Y., before rejoining Coach Wootten at DeMatha High School as the assistant varsity coach and head junior varsity coach. After three seasons at DeMatha, Strickland served as head coach at Raleigh's Ravenscroft High School the season before he landed his first college coaching job at VMI.
Strickland and his wife Mary Catherine, have three children: Meaghan (24), Michael (22) and Conor (17).