UNO announces it ‘will not retain’ baseball coach Bruce Peddie

Advocate file photo by JOHN OUBRE -- UNO baseball coach Bruce Peddie surveys the action during a game against Southern in 2012. UNO announced Friday that it 'will not retain' Peddie, leaving the coach out of a job after four seasons.
Advocate file photo by JOHN OUBRE -- UNO baseball coach Bruce Peddie surveys the action during a game against Southern in 2012. UNO announced Friday that it 'will not retain' Peddie, leaving the coach out of a job after four seasons.

Apparently, the $3 million facelift at UNO’s Maestri Field extends beyond the baseball stadium.

Athletic Director Derek Morel announced Friday that Bruce Peddie will not be retained as head coach after going 40-161 during four challenging seasons, including 7-44 this spring while playing as an Division I independent against the likes of powerhouses LSU, South Carolina and South Alabama.

Peddie served three seasons as associate head coach at UNO before he succeeded Tom Walter during the summer of 2009. Under Walter and Peddie, the Privateers reached the NCAA Tournament in 2007 and 2008 out of the Sun Belt Conference.

Friday’s developments mean the Privateers’ once-proud baseball program — a participant in the NCAA Division II College World Series in 1974 and the NCAA Division I College World Series in 1984 under former coach/AD Ron Maestri — will enter the Southland Conference next spring under new leadership.

“On behalf of the university, we thank Bruce for his contributions to the Privateer baseball program,’’ Morel said in a statement. “We look forward to the future of our program and continuing our great legacy of Privateer baseball.’’

From 2010-13 under Peddie, the Privateers finished 13-39, 4-50, 17-27 and 7-44 as the school, with its hierarchy in a state of flux, went back and forth on a long-term plan for its athletic department.

Three years ago, UNO withdrew from the Sun Belt Conference and announced it was preparing a shift to Division III.

Many of UNO’s top athletes and coaches left, but baseball coach Bruce Peddie remained, in part because he had twin daughters in high school.

In 2011, UNO adjusted its plan, deciding instead to compete in Division II, which allows partial scholarships.

But in March 2012, school president Peter Fos announced the Privateers would remain in Division I.

Soon after, they agreed to join the Southland Conference, effective this August.

Maestri Field, with its new $3 million grandstand and 800 new chairback seats, will re-open Feb. 15, when the Privateers host LSU.

UNO held a groundbreaking ceremony in May.

“Better days are coming,” Peddie said at the time. “We now need to be able to go out and win — and there’s no reason not to.”

A coaching search will commence immediately.