Feeney named Lady Iron basketball head coach


Inkspot Staff

File Photo: Mr. Dave Feeney addresses the varsity basketball team during a scrimmage in the 2018-19 season.

Mr. Dave Feeney has been named head girls varsity basketball coach during a virtual meeting of the board of education Wednesday night.

The position was vacant after Mr. Marcus Mann stepped down after the 2019-20 season. In eight years as head coach, Mann amassed a record of 130-107.

Athletic director Nic Kearfott led a group that interviewed a “committee of coaches” last week before making their suggestion to the board.

Feeney will be back at the helm of the program after serving as head coach from 1999-2007 and as an assistant from 2017-19. As a head coach, Feeney’s record was 143-83, while the team posted a 43-18 record with Feeney as an assistant.

“Mr. Feeney is a great fit for the head coach position,” junior guard Mallory Oloffson said. “Not only does he have an unmatched IQ. for the game, but he cares so much about each and every player on and off the court.”

Despite posting such strong records, winning isn’t everything for the now second-time head coach.

“Obviously, we want to win and be successful on the court,” Feeney said, “but most importantly we want to build a great environment that people want to be a part of, one that is rewarding and is overall positive even though at times athletics can be very challenging.

Feeney served as an assistant coach for the Illinois Wesleyan men’s basketball team from 2009-2016. During that coaching stint, Feeney was on the bench for multiple trips to the Division III NCAA Semifinals in 2012 and 2014.

Oloffson believes there will be an adjustment period, as there would be for any new head coach, but Feeney’s background gives him a head start.

“Mr. Feeney has been an assistant coach for us, he has two daughters on the team, and he’s run many open gyms,” Oloffson said. “He knows most of the girls on the team whether it’s been [from] in class or on the court, so it shouldn’t take long for all of us to gel.”

Feeney’s daughters Madison (’21) and Sophia (’23) both had important roles in the program this year. Madison started consistently for the Lady Iron this season, averaging 5.6 points per game. Sophia played meaningful minutes off the bench for the varsity team in addition to starting at the JV level.

With the biggest question facing the team this offseason answered, the Lady Iron will be able to look to the future.

Feeney will be working with a talented group of seniors that he is familiar with in his first season. After their first losing season in five years, the Lady Iron could be poised for a quick turnaround.

“Coach Mann got a lot of kids experience this year,” Feeney said. “They are great kids and kids of character, so I really look forward to coaching them and helping them grow even more.”