June 14, 2002

Rex Peters replaces retired Swimley as head baseball coach

Rex Peters


After conducting a nationwide search, UC Davis Director of Athletics Greg Warzecka announced last week the hiring of Rex Peters as the Aggies’ head baseball coach. Peters replaces longtime coach Phil Swimley, who resigned at the end of this past season following 37 years at the helm of UC Davis baseball.

Peters comes to UC Davis after spending the past nine seasons as head coach at Chapman University in southern California where he compiled a 258-130-2 overall record. He led the Panthers to three appearances in the NCAA Division III College World Series, including a third-place finish in 2000.

"Rex is a highly successful head coach who understands and believes in the ‘student-first’ concept," said Warzecka.

"He was a successful collegiate athlete at Cal State Fullerton and a professional player in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. His success as a head coach and record of recruiting outstanding student-athletes at Chapman makes him a perfect fit for UC Davis. His leadership and motivational skills, along with his knowledge of the game, were important requisites for the team."

Peters, the winningest coach in Chapman history, both in terms of wins and percentage, has led the Panthers to the NCAA West Regional five times and three times he has been named West Region Coach of the Year. In addition, he has coached six All-Americans, two GTE/Verizon Academic All-Americans, nine GTE/Verizon Academic All-District players and 29 All-Region selections.

"I’m looking forward to the challenge of keeping the program at the high level Phil has established and building on that foundation," said Peters.

"On my visit I was extremely impressed with the university as a whole and I’m excited to be a part of the UC Davis community."

Prior to his head coaching duties, Peters served one season as the Panthers’ assistant coach under Gary Henderson. Peters had spent the previous four years playing in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization after being drafted by the club in the 22nd round of the 1989 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.

While in the Dodgers system, Peters advanced as high as Double-A San Antonio before beginning his coaching career. In 1989, his first season in professional baseball, he was named the Most Valuable Player for the Salem Dodgers.

Peters graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1989 with his bachelor’s in physical education. He was an All-America honorable mention for the Titans, helping lead them to a third-place finish at the 1988 NCAA Division I College World Series.

He earned his master’s degree in education, with an emphasis in physical education, from Azusa Pacific University in 1994.

Peters married Michelle Snow in 1990 and the couple have three children – two daughters and a son Jake, ages 4 to 9.

Peters will begin his position on July 1. This past season, UC Davis posted a 33-26 overall record, advancing to the championship game of the California Collegiate Athletic Association postseason tournament.

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Dateline UC Davis is the faculty and staff newspaper for the University of California, Davis.