Antosz named Wheeling's new head coach
Every new head coach needs to decide what kind of program he or she wants.
Tom Antosz, who was named the new boys varsity basketball coach at Wheeling on Friday, wants to have a player-friendly program in which the players have a strong voice.
It wasn't that long ago that Antosz was a player himself.
Antosz has earned his first head coaching job at 28, six years after graduating from Lawrence University where he played four years of basketball as a point guard.
A 2010 graduate of Ridgewood High School in Norridge, Antosz has been the assistant boys varsity basketball coach at Wheeling the last three years. The job opened when Michael O'Keefe left his post at Wheeling in June to become the head coach at St. Viator.
"I'm super excited to be the next head coach," Antosz said. "Basketball is my passion and I've always wanted to get into coaching. Right out of college I was coaching AAU, then I was at Luther North College Prep for three years and the last three years at Wheeling.
"I've been very fortunate to be able to learn and grow with a lot of great coaches."
Antosz also considers himself fortunate to be welcoming back a crop of talented seniors who will help him set the direction of the program in his first campaign.
Joe Jordan has been on varsity since his freshman year, Solomon Hudson has been on varsity since his sophomore year and Jaden Terrell was the Wildcats' leading scorer last year at 12 points per game.
"We have a lot of guys returning with varsity experience," Antosz said. "I think as a coach, it's important to know what you have in a team and each team might be different from the next. You have to work with that, and this team is going to be fast and I'm hoping we can play fast and open up the floor and shoot a lot of 3s."
Antosz, who teaches social science classes at Wheeling, is also just hoping that there will be a season at all, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We'll have to be prepared for the worst, but we are hoping for the best," Antosz said. "I'm excited. I'm excited to start putting stuff together and get going with this group. I'm excited to be the leader of our program."