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Dizzy Peyton named head baseball coach at NKU following retirement of longtime coach Todd Asalon

Northern Kentucky University has named Dizzy Peyton the school’s new head baseball coach.

Peyton becomes just the third head coach in the NKU baseball program’s history and assumes the role following a 17-year stint on the Norse bench as an assistant coach. Joining NKU in 2005, he spent his first two years as a volunteer assistant before transitioning into a full-time capacity the last 15 seasons.

“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 Ken Bothof, director of athletics. “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.“

Dizzy Peyton (Photo from NKU)

Under Peyton’s guidance, 10 Norse pitchers have gone on to the professional ranks, including four by way of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Current LA Dodger Nate Jones, who was taken in the fifth round as the 179th pick, highlights that list.

With Peyton on the bench, NKU registered five-straight NCAA Division II Regional Tournament appearances from 2008-12 and six regional bids overall. The Norse also won a pair of GLVC titles in 2008 and 2009. Following the transition to NCAA Division I status, Peyton helped the Norse to a third-place Horizon League finish in 2017 and the program’s first postseason win of the era with an opening round victory in the Horizon League Tournament.

Off the field, Peyton has been a leader throughout Norse Athletics, the University and 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.

“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.

Peyton’s leadership has extended to the classroom as well. Impressively, Norse baseball has posted a team GPA above 3.0 in each of the last 14 semesters.

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, fanning 44 hitters and issuing just 20 free passes.

Peyton follows Todd Asalon, who retired at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign after spending 21 seasons at the helm of the program, and 29-year skipper and Northern Kentucky University David Lee Holt Hall of Fame member Aker. Norse baseball wrapped up its 50th season in May and is 1371-1158-2 (.542 winning percentage) all-time.

“I would also like to thank Todd Asalon for his support over the past 17 years,” said Peyton. “The opportunity to carry on in Coach [Bill] Aker’s and Coach Asalon’s legacies is very humbling and I am honored to get to lead our program into the future.

From Northern Kentucky Unviersity Athletics

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