Pickerington High School North athletics director Molly Feesler did not have to look far to find the successor for the most successful girls soccer coach in program history.

Doug Peterson, who had been an assistant coach for 15 of the Panthers’ 16 seasons, has been named as the team’s next head coach, pending school board approval.

Peterson succeeds Greg Van Kannel, who resigned in November after going 180-32-16 overall and 60-5-3 in the OCC-Ohio Division in 11 seasons.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to continue on with the team,” Peterson said. “The girls are extremely talented and have built an amazing tradition. That said, it’s humbling to try and pick up where Greg Van Kannel left off. He has done an amazing job and will be missed.”

Peterson is a branch chief overseeing corporate contracts for the Defense Logistics Agency. He was junior varsity girls coach at Olentangy for five seasons before coming to North in 2003.

The only season that he did not coach with the Panthers was 2011, when Van Kannel left the program for a year before returning in 2012.

North went 15-2-3 overall and 4-0-1 in the OCC-Ohio last season, tying Gahanna for the 12th league championship in team history. The Panthers, who went on to win their 11th Division I district title, lost to Watterson 2-1 in overtime in a regional final.

“Doug has been an integral part of these championship teams,” Feesler said. “We are looking forward to having Doug lead our program and continue (its) success.”