By Bob Narang, Special to the Tribune
1:22 PM EDT, July 8, 2013
Wheaton Academy boys basketball coach Pete Froedden spent the last month navigating the Chicagoland area, getting adjusted to his new surroundings and learning about his players,.
Froedden was named the new Warriors' head coach in late May, right before the busy team shootout and league season. One month later, Froedden's gotten a better handle of his team.
"We're growing," he said. "I think their learning what to expect from me and what I've expectations I've got for our program and guys. They've made significant progress in a month. We didn't put a lot offensively or defensively in. I didn't want to overwhelm them."
The 44-year-old Froedden enters the Chicagoland area with a rich hoops background, mostly in the Tennessee area. He played point guard at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. Froedden had a successful six-year tenure at Harding Academy (Tenn.), won 50 games in two years at Sycamore High (Tenn.) before spending the last five years as an assistant at Lipscomb.
"I'm from Tennessee and spent the last seven or eight years in Nashville," Froedden said. "I've been a head high school coach for 14 years. I knew after a few years (at Lipscomb) that I wanted to get back to being a head high school coach. I missed that idea and directing my own program. I've been looking for a nice fit."
Froedden doesn't have to do a rebuild job at Wheaton Academy. Former coach Paul Ferguson, who left to become an assistant coach at Wheaton College, recorded a 133-55 mark in seven seasons at Wheaton Academy.
Froedden's already got some solid pieces in place, with 6-foot-8 senior Gordon Behr, a legit Division I prospect, and sharpshooter Josh Ruggles, who won the Illinois High School Association Class 3A 3-point shooting contest in March. His son, Christian, is a 6-foot-3 junior.
"I saw a lot of potential in watching Gordon play," Froedden said. "He has a good chance to benefit with me being here. We have high expectations for me, and he responded."
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