Taft takes over at Fenton

 
 
Updated 5/25/2016 11:08 PM
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  • Images from the Bartlett vs. South Elgin boys basketball game Friday, December 7, 2012.

      Images from the Bartlett vs. South Elgin boys basketball game Friday, December 7, 2012. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

He's made a couple detours and it took a while, but Chaz Taft come back home again.

A three-year varsity basketball player at Fenton High School under Greg Lehmann, who still teaches at the Bensenville school, Taft has been hired as Bison's new boys varsity coach.

"I get to go back home," said Taft, given name Charles, Fenton Class of 1996. "I go back home, get to coach at the school I graduated from. I had a lot of pride at that school."

The District 100 School Board approved his hiring at its May 18 meeting but publicly released the news Wednesday. Taft met his Bison players Wednesday afternoon, handing out shirts that included the slogan, "Attack the day."

"What can I do for them -- that was my main message today," he said. "We've got to get the kids excited about basketball and having fun and having a good experience," he said.

Taft, 38, will succeed Josh Payton as coach. Taft himself resigned as Waubonsie Valley's boys coach in March but will remain there as a physical education teacher. He led the Warriors two seasons, coming over after seven seasons with South Elgin.

Taft inherits a Fenton team that returns many from this year's varsity squad including leaders Bryan Larsen and 6-foot-5 Joe Andrews. Taft also is making inroads into Bensenville youth, adding three kids' camps this summer.

"There's some things to build with. I'm excited about the program and everything else," he said.

Over the 2015-16 season Fenton went 7-19 overall and 2-10 in the Metro Suburban Conference West Division.

"The only way you're going to get things going in the right direction," Taft said, "is if you're all-in."

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