Hampshire names Featherly new boys basketball coach
Hampshire High School looked within to find its new boys basketball coach.
Mike Featherly, the school's successful girls basketball coach of the last six seasons, was confirmed as the new boys basketball coach at the District 300 board meeting Tuesday.
Featherly, 38, forged an 111-63 record as Hampshire girls basketball coach and won three Fox Valley Conference titles in the last five years. The Whip-Purs girls basketball team finished 27-6 last season, 15-1 in the FVC.
He takes over the boys basketball program from Ben Whitehouse, who stepped down for family reasons following a 15-17 season.
"It was really a tough decision, especially in the short term because of how much I've enjoyed being around the girls day in and day out," Featherly said, "but I thought this would be a fun, challenging experience working with boys again."
Featherly has 10 years of boys basketball coaching experience. A player himself at Palatine High School, he began coaching as a volunteer at a Wisconsin high school after graduating from Wisconsin-Madison.
He returned to Palatine and spent two years learning under coach Ed Molitor before he landed a job 13 years ago at Hampshire, where he teaches AP Psychology and Sociology. Featherly spent his first seven years at the Kane County school coaching in the boys program. He was the freshman head coach for four years, sophomore head coach for two years and spent one season as the varsity assistant under IBCA hall-of-fame coach Bob Barnett.
"He has high standards for our athletes on and off the court," Hampshire athletic director Mike Sitter said of Featherly. "Ben Whitehouse started a good tradition here and we're just hoping Mike can continue it."
Featherly believes his "we-not-me" approach to coaching translates regardless of gender.
"The big thing is just surrounding myself with good people," he said. "I've been lucky enough to do that on the girls side with all the coaches creating a positive culture and teaching the game. The thing we've done a good job of through the years is teaching the fundamentals. Whether it's the boys or girls game, that aspect has to be there. The concept of team is the most important thing."
Sitter sees Featherly as a program builder.
"He is looking long term," Sitter said. "He's going to look at the longevity of the program and what is in the best interest of Hampshire High School, not what's in the best interest of a particular player. I think that's part of his we-over-me. Next year the seniors will be gone and we have to build with a whole new squad so let's have a program develop where people can step in and fill roles as opposed to building around specific players or specific skill sets."
Featherly and wife Kelli have two sons, Luke, 2, and 10-month-old Evan.