Feikema is new Raiders hoops coachChad Feikema will ask the Hastings boys basketball team to play relentlessly this winter. Full-court defense when necessary. Tight man-to-man coverage. And on the offensive side, he’ll expect his players to move as fast as possible down the court.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Chad Feikema will ask the Hastings boys basketball team to play relentlessly this winter. Full-court defense when necessary. Tight man-to-man coverage. And on the offensive side, he’ll expect his players to move as fast as possible down the court.
Based on Feikema’s history, he should be able to lead by example. The new Hastings coach has 16 years of head coaching experience, has coached everything from baseball to softball to volleyball to basketball, and has at times been his school’s athletic director.
Staying busy doesn’t appear to be much of a problem for Feikema. And he’ll expect his teams to play the same way.
Hastings athletics director Tom Johnson made the hire earlier this summer.
“He comes highly recommended,” Johnson said. “People constantly talk about his character, his work ethic and his involvement in the community of Albert Lea.”
Feikema spent four years coaching basketball and teaching in Albert Lea. He was also the head softball coach.
“Albert Lea was struggling a little economically,” he said. “There were some cuts going on here, which meant I was looking.”
Feikema replaces Trent Hanson, who is the new athletic director at East Ridge, the new high school in the Woodbury and Cottage Grove school district.
Once he came to Hastings, Feikema knew he wanted the job here.
“I think it’s a great location,” he said. “My wife and I both like the city, but we are both small-town people. This offers a little bit of those. I’m just excited about the opportunity to get there and continue building what Trent and many others have already started.”
Feikema earned his first job at New Life Academy in Woodbury. He coached there for four years and was the head boys basketball coach and head softball coach.
He left Woodbury to head to Swanville, a small town located near St. Cloud. He was a teacher and the head basketball coach there for six years. He also served as the athletic director, the assistant baseball coach and the head volleyball coach.
He then landed the job in Albert Lea, where he taught, and was the boys basketball coach and the softball coach.
He will teach physical education in Hastings.
Feikema grew up on a farm near Luverne in southwest Minnesota. He played high school basketball at Southwest Minnesota Christian High School under Cal Hoekstra, who was inducted into the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006.
Feikema played in the state tournament as a sophomore, and then graduated in 1990.
As a high school athlete, he was recruited in four sports (baseball, track, softball and basketball). Feikema ended up deciding to play baseball at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa.
He earned a degree in physical education, and he minored in health. He’s now working to earn a double major in health, and he’s working toward a Master’s in education leadership, specializing in sports management.
He and his wife have their Albert Lea home on the market and are hoping to move here when it sells.
Feikema has played and coached about every sport out there. But basketball is his sport of choice.
“It’s just a big part of my past,” he said. “At Southwest, and in that entire community, basketball is king. We grew up playing it all the time.
“The best athletes in the world play basketball, in my opinion. There’s nothing a whole lot prettier than a basketball game that is well played.”
On how he expect his teams to play:
“Defensively, I really like to play pressure man-to-man defense in the half-court, and extend full court as much as possible, relative to where we are in regard to our opponent.
“I prefer an up-tempo defensive style, where we pressure the ball and play full court as much as possible.”
Offensively, he said he favors a transition game with motion offenses. He’ll mix in some set plays to get the ball to certain players, but he likes motion and continuity.
“I like the transition game,” he said. “I like to get up and go and make things happen in transition when the opportunity presents itself.
In terms of goals, Feikema has a big one for the Raiders:
“A goal is to reach the state tournament,” he said. “Hastings has never done that. That’s definitely a goal for me and my program. I think it’s a reachable goal.”