From the WIAA -
Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Executive Director Dave Anderson announced the hiring of Kate Peterson Abiad as an Assistant Director of the Association today. She will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Director Deb (Hauser) Dinkel.
“Kate is a strong, successful professional who will bring a set of life-experiences to the WIAA executive staff and membership, which will be unique and complimentary to our efforts going forward,” Anderson said. “We value the example to young women Kate’s life and career represent.”
Peterson Abiad’s responsibilities will include the administration and coordination of duties for the sports of basketball, cross country, soccer, and track and field, as well as tournament planning and cooperative teams. She will officially begin her appointment with the WIAA on April 1.
“It is a great honor for me to accept this opportunity to return to my home state and join the WIAA office,” Peterson Abiad said. “I look forward to serving the schools, the administrators, and the student-athletes to the best of my abilities. I am anxious to develop new relationships, gain the confidence of the membership, and bring a new perspective to this position.
“Participation in high school athletics can have a tremendous impact in shaping young people and creating future leaders,” she continued. “The experiences I had, competing in Wisconsin high school sports, were outstanding. I am grateful for the chance to contribute to that dynamic in the years to come.”
Peterson Abiad possesses a wealth of basketball experience with 27 years as a collegiate coach. She comes to the WIAA from Cleveland State University, where she served as the head women’s basketball coach for 15 seasons from 2003-04 through 2017-18.
Before her arrival, the Vikings experienced one winning season in 23 years. Peterson Abiad gradually built the program, leading the Vikings to Horizon League Conference Tournament championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007-08 and 2009-10. She is the school’s all-time winningest coach with a 206-252 record.
She has significant ties with basketball in Wisconsin. Prior to being named the head coach at Cleveland State, she served six seasons as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin from 1997-2003. During that time, Peterson Abiad helped guide the Badgers to three NCAA Tournaments–including 1998, 2001 and 2002–as well as a WNIT championship in 2000 and a runner-up finish in 1999. She served as the Badgers’ chief recruiter. Her efforts helped the Badgers receive commitments resulting in two top-10 freshman classes.
Peterson Abiad had a stellar collegiate basketball career at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point prior to graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1991. She received Kodak All-America honorable mention recognition her senior season with the Pointers in 1990-91. Peterson Abiad was a four-year starter and was named the team’s MVP in 1990-91. She earned All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors in 1991 and honorable mention in 1990. She set an NCAA Division III national record for three-point field goals made per game at 3.85 during the 1990-91 season and was inducted into the UW-Stevens Point Hall of Fame in 2000.
Other coaching experience includes assistant stints at Eastern Illinois University from 1993-97 and at Indiana University from 1991-93. At Eastern Illinois, she served as the recruiting coordinator. Additional responsibilities included practice planning and implementation, scouting opponents, individual workouts, and development of a strength and conditioning program. Peterson Abiad’s first coaching experience came as a graduate assistant and assistant coach at Indiana, assisting the Hoosiers with scouting, on-campus recruiting and bench responsibilities. She earned her master’s degree in counseling and educational psychology from Indiana in 1995.
Other leadership-related experience include serving as chair of the Horizon League Women’s Basketball Coaches Committee and as the women’s basketball representative on the Horizon League Issues Committee. She also spoke at a Final Four round-table discussion and served as a top-25 poll voter.
Peterson Abiad is a native of River Falls, Wis., where she participated in basketball and softball throughout her high school career and ran cross country one season at River Falls High School. She and her husband, Phil Abiad, who has served as an assistant coach with the Cleveland State women’s volleyball program for the last 18 seasons, have two daughters, 8-year old Mea, and 2-year old Remi.
The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 512 senior high schools and 43 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors 27 championship tournament series for boys and girls in 2017-18.