Peter Hughes

Wheelchair Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2024  –  Saudi Arabia

Mr. Peter Hughes has a long career in athletics as a coach and administrator, as well as nonprofit, sales, and fund development. Since 2017, he has served as Director of Adaptive Athletics at the University of Arizona. UArizona’s Adaptive Athletics program is the largest program of its kind and has produced 40+ Paralympians. As director, he supervises a large professional staff and cultivates relationships with donors who support program operations, as well as other community contacts to increase awareness of wheelchair and adaptive sport. During his tenure as director, Mr. Hughes he has tripled the number of enrolled student athletes and has committed to financially supporting each one because he believes sport is an important inroad to higher education and supports employability, areas in which disabled people are sorely underrepresented.

Mr. Hughes has coached various sports from YMCA to NCAA, and athletes of all ages with and without disabilities. As UArizona’s wheelchair track coach, he coached four Paralympian track athletes, including a gold medal winner. As UArizona’s women’s wheelchair basketball coach, he led the team to four straight national title games and won two titles.

In service to the international disability community, Mr. Hughes established UArizona as a site for the Global Sports Mentoring Program and hosts one or more international delegations of disabled athletes or coaches annually. Mr. Hughes founded the non-profit organization Wheelchair Athletes Worldwide (WAW) that donates sports wheelchairs and holds wheelchair sports camps in developing countries that do not have access to such equipment or coaching. WAW has donated over 50 wheelchairs in four different countries and is set to do another donation in Uganda in 2023.

Mr. Hughes earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, with a teaching credential in Physical Education and specialist teaching credential in Adapted Physical Education from San Diego State University, and a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis on sport and exercise psychology from the University of Western Australia.