Columbus North Athletics Director Jeff Hester was intrigued by the numbers head coach Paul Ferguson had posted at Wheaton Academy in West Chicago, Illinois, so he started calling people who would be familiar with Chicago area basketball.
“I called people who had connections with the program, and everyone said the same thing,” Hester said. “‘You can’t miss on this guy.’ Everyone has told me that his character is outstanding.”
Hester decided he would find out. On Monday night, the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. board approved Ferguson as North’s new varsity boys basketball coach.
“Paul will be a guy that the Bull Dog nation can get behind,” Hester said.
Ferguson was 133-55 in seven seasons as the Wheaton Academy head coach, and he spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Wheaton College. Ferguson and Hester came to a job agreement Saturday, and the move became official Monday night.
“I had 20 to 30 good applicants for the job,” Hester said. “But I would say his résumé really stood out. He has a high win percentage, and I was familiar with both Wheaton Academy and Wheaton College having strong programs.”
Although Ferguson had returned to college coaching (he had a previous seven-year run as an assistant at Wheaton College), Hester said he “wants to run his own program and be a head coach.”
Ferguson said Saturday that he always has had a goal of coaching high school basketball in Indiana.
Hester said Ferguson’s teams have a history of up-tempo play and being defensively solid, but personnel might affect what he can do.
“We will be reloading,” Hester said. “But Paul has a great work ethic; and he has a top-notch, energetic personality.”
Ferguson will be a social studies teacher at Columbus North, and his job won’t begin until after summer break. However, Hester said Ferguson has said he will come to the area in June to start working on his new program.
Hester was forced to begin looking for a new boys basketball coach after Jason Speer resigned March 31 after seven seasons.
Ferguson and his wife, Michelle, have five boys, Ty, 11; Benjamin, 9; Caleb, 7; Samuel 4; and James, 1.