After 17 Years as an Assistant, Peyton Takes Over as Head NKU Baseball Coach
Dizzy Peyton was named head coach of Northern Kentucky University's baseball team this week after serving as an assistant for seventeen seasons.
Peyton joined the Norse program as a volunteer assistant in 2005 and then joined in a full-time capacity two seasons later.
“I’ve had the opportunity to watch Coach Peyton grow and interact with student-athletes, fellow coaches, and staff for several years. He is highly regarded and respected as a staff member and has embraced the culture we strive to achieve at NKU,” said NKU Athletics Director Ken Bothof. “His vision and understanding of the next steps that need to be made by our baseball program, which compliment all the positives already attributed to Norse baseball, gives me confidence in the future.“
Peyton thanked God, his wife, Amanda, and family, as well as NKU athletics administrators in his statement accepting the position.
He also thanked Todd Asalon, who Peyton replaces as head coach. Asalon was head coach at NKU from 2001 to 2021, and at Thomas More before that, from 1995 to 2000.
“There are so many more people to thank, from our alumni, our student-athletes, friends and family who have shown me so much love and support throughout this whole process," Peyton said. "I am incredibly grateful for those relationships and honored to get to work for everyone involved in our NKU baseball family.
“I am very excited to begin the next chapter in Norse history. Our program will bring energy and enthusiasm into everything we do. And, I look forward to beginning that journey.”
While Peyton has been with the program, ten Norse pitchers have joined the professional ranks, including four drafted into Major League Baseball.
NKU appeared in five consecutive NCAA Division II regional tournaments from 2008 to 2012, and six overall, and won the Great Lakes Valley Conference title in 2008 and 2009.
After transitioning to NCAA Division I, the program finished third in the Horizon League in 2017, and the program's first division-one era post-season win in the opening round of the conference tournament.
Off the field, Peyton has been a leader throughout Norse Athletics, the university, and the region as well. He led a small group discussion as part of Northern Kentucky Athletics’ larger staff conversations on social justice this past year.
In 2018, NKU baseball received the Horizon League’s Bobby Fong Award in recognition of the integrity, respect and stewardship the team displays. One of the key team attributes resulting in the honor is the team’s inclusive environment and welcoming nature in support of team manager Ryan Mavriplis. Peyton is a mentor and close friend to Mavriplis, who has Down Syndrome. Norse baseball annually volunteers at the Buddy Walk hosted by the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, an effort organized by Peyton. He has also been a chaperone on three mission trips to the Dominican Republic featuring both students and student-athletes at NKU which is traditionally taken in early January and provides support to under-privileged areas.
Prior to beginning his coaching career, Peyton pitched for the Norse during the 2003 season before Tommy John surgery closed out his playing days. In his lone campaign on the mound for NKU, he posted a 4.44 ERA with a 3-3 record, and striking out 44.