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Utah State assistant men’s basketball coach Eric Peterson will be joining Craig Smith as an assistant at the University of Utah.

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On Monday Utah State Athletics Director John Hartwell said one of Craig Smith’s assistant coaches was going to follow him to the University of Utah.

It looks like that assistant is Eric Peterson. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Peterson would join Smith in Salt Lake City.

Peterson has been with Smith for seven seasons — four at South Dakota and three at USU. When Smith had to miss two games because of COVID-19 this past season, Peterson took over as the acting head coach. His name had surfaced as a possible replacement for Smith. Obviously, that is not likely now.

“I don’t know if any of them are interested,” said Hartwell on Monday when asked about any of the Aggie assistants would get a chance to interview for the opening. “I know one is going to follow Craig to the University of Utah.”

The other two Aggie assistants with Smith at USU were Austin Hansen and David Ragland. There was some buzz on social media on Wednesday about Ragland deserving a chance to be a head coach.

Smith was introduced as the 16th head coach at Utah Saturday morning, replacing Larry Krystkowiak who was let go after the 2020-21 season. He was going to talk to the previous staff before making decision on his new Ute staff. In the same article that named Peterson as an assistant, former Utah assistant DeMarlo Slocum was also reportedly coming back to Salt Lake City. Slocum had been on the staff at UNLV most recently.

Peterson was credited with being a top recruiter for the Aggies. He played a big part on getting center Neemias Queta to USU. Peterson worked a lot with post players.

Slocum and Smith were together on the same staff as assistants at Colorado State.

As far as the rest of the Aggie staff that Smith had in Logan, there is no word yet on their futures. Smith does need to find one more assistant and his director of basketball operations.

Hartwell is planning on having a new coach named for the Aggies by late next week at the latest. An announcement could come earlier he said on Monday.

Shawn Harrison is the sports editor at The Herald Journal. He can be reached at or 435-792-7233.

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