One day, Paul Ferguson would like to be a head basketball coach at the collegiate level.
On Tuesday he got a step closer.
After seven seasons as Wheaton Academy's varsity boys basketball coach, Ferguson tendered his resignation and has accepted an assistant coaching position with the men's program at Wheaton College effective April 15. Ferguson will continue as Wheaton Academy's director of admissions and a Bible teacher.
Ferguson returns to a Wheaton College program where he assisted former Thunder coach Bill Harris from 1999-2006 before succeeding Andy Euler at Wheaton Academy. Wheaton College went 118-58 during Ferguson's time there.
"I'm deeply appreciative of the administration giving me this opportunity the last seven years," Ferguson said. "Wheaton Academy is an incredible school with wonderful teachers and outstanding coaches. It is a great situation to be a head coach.
"I am thankful for the school supporting my decision to return to college coaching," he said. "I'm thrilled I don't have to move my family and can continue at Wheaton Academy in my role as a teacher and director of admissions."
At Wheaton College, Ferguson will serve under coach Mike Schauer, who also assisted Harris during Ferguson's years with the Thunder. Ferguson will join Tony Bollier as an assistant, a former Thunder player he recruited.
Wheaton College returns all key players, Ferguson said, from a team that went 21-7 overall, 10-4 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin, and advanced to the second round of the Division III NCAA Tournament.
A 1994 Notre Dame graduate who arrived at Wheaton Academy as an assistant for Euler from 1995-99, as head coach from 2006-13 Ferguson was 133-55. This season the Warriors were 19-7, 9-1 in the Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division to win a fourth straight SCC title. He also won the 2007 title in the disbanded Private School League.
A 2011 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association district coach of the year, Ferguson coached regional champions in 2009 and 2011. He produced two players who earned all-state merit, Tim Rusthoven and Cameron Harvey, who went to Division I programs as did another of his Warriors, Wes Koral.
Asked what he'll miss most coaching the Warriors, Ferguson said: "The relationships with the players. I've been fortunate to coach some great kids. I'll always cherish those memories."