Omaha Centralís Eric Behrens to lead Peru State menís basketball program
Behrens has spent the last 13 years as head boys’ basketball coach at Omaha Central High School where his teams have captured seven state titles. The Central High Eagles defeated Bellevue West in overtime games in 2006 and 2007 to earn Class A crowns – the first since 1975. They defeated Bellevue East in 2008 to make it three in a row.
The Eagles started a four-year run of state championships in 2010 with a victory over Norfolk. Behrens' teams defeated Omaha Bryan in 2011, Omaha South in 2012 and Papillion-La Vista in 2013 to claim three more titles.
During those seven championship seasons, the Eagles’ combined record was 173-25. Behrens' overall record as head coach is 283-58.
President Dan Hanson said, “I want to welcome Coach Behrens to the Peru State family. His energy, enthusiasm and passion for the sport of basketball are exactly what we need to take Bobcat basketball to the next level.”
Athletic Director Steve Schneider said, “Coach Behrens’ success as a coach speaks for itself, but I am most impressed with his character, ability to build relationships and his commitment to excellence. Peru State is positioned well for success and Eric Behrens is the right person for the job. We are eager to welcome him to our team and look forward to supporting him as he works to achieve the goals he sets for the men’s basketball program.”
Behrens said, “I’m excited to accept the position of head men’s basketball coach at Peru State. It’s not easy to walk away from the incredible program we have built at Omaha Central, but the opportunity to coach at the collegiate level is one I can’t pass up. What impressed me most about Peru State is the passion that President Hanson, Athletic Director Schneider, Vice President (Michaela) Willis and their teams have for the Peru State community, their students and the men’s basketball program.”
Behrens was named 2007 Boys High School Coach of the Year by the Omaha World Herald and 2008 Boys High School Coach of the Year by the Lincoln Journal Star. He was also named Metro Basketball Coaches Association’s Class A Boy’s Coach of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.
Behrens is a social sciences teacher at Central. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in 1999 and a master’s in secondary education from UNO in 2005.
Peru State is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Heart of America Athletic Conference.