Mike Featherly has learned the game of basketball from some of the best coaches Illinois and Wisconsin have seen, two of the IBCA Hall of Famers.
Now Featherly will get to put all that education into his first gig as a head coach.
A 1998 Palatine graduate who played for the legendary Ed Molitor, Featherly Friday was named the new head girls basketball coach at Hampshire.
"I really enjoyed playing for coach Molitor," Featherly said. "I learned a lot about discipline from him."
Featherly replaces Ed Haugens, who stepped down to spend more time with his family after 3 years at Hampshire and 7 at Jacobs.
Featherly has spent the last 7 years on the Hampshire boys basketball coaching staff. He was the head freshman coach for 4 years, sophomore coach for 2 years and he spent this past season as assistant to IBCA Hall of Famer Bob Barnett. This past season Featherly led the Whip-Purs when Barnett was out of action after having multiple heart attacks and made a definite impression on the school's administration during Barnett's absence. Two of the games Featherly was head coach for were against rival Burlington Central.
"We could not have been more pleased with Mike's performance while filling in for Bob during his absence. Mike showed the leadership skills necessary to run a program during his stint as the leader of our program. We are excited about Mike's commitment to the student-athletes of HHS and we look forward to what he can bring to the girls basketball program," said Hampshire principal Chuck Bumbales in an emailed release.
Featherly is well aware of the Hampshire tradition in girls basketball under Milt Awe, Sue Ellett and then Haugens.
"I'm excited for the opportunity," Featherly said. "Being at Hampshire the last seven years and knowing Sue and Ed, I just want to build on the success they had. I look forward to the opportunity to continue the proud tradition of Hampshire girls basketball. Being chosen to lead a program in such a supportive community is extremely humbling. Knowing the high standards the administration has for their head coaches it is an honor to be chosen. I am excited to start working with the quality girls in the program."
Featherly is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He stayed in Wisconsin for one year after graduating and coached at Verona High School, where he coached players who went on to play for current Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan when Ryan was at UW-Platteville.
Featherly said he contemplated going to law school but after doing some substitute teaching, "I found my calling," he said. He is a social studies teacher at the school, teaching World History to freshmen and psychology and sociology to juniors and seniors.
"Coach Featherly has brought positive energy to all of his endeavors at Hampshire High School," said Hampshire athletic director Dave Hicks. "He is extremely organized and knows the game of basketball as evidenced in the experience he had in the interim created by coach Barnett's absence this past season. He has run summer programs, clinics, and along with other staff members has really cultivated a great relationship with our feeder programs. He looks forward to continuing the work of former girls coach Ed Haugens in developing the girls feeder system."
Hampshire finished 11-17 this past season and was 55-35 under Haugens, winning regional titles in 2011 and 2012.