Indiana Daily Student

Basketball team gains an assistant

Fertig replaces Ellenberger

Former Ohio State University assistant coach Les Fertig has joined the IU basketball coaching staff as an administrative assistant. Fertig arrived on campus Monday and was in Assembly Hall teaching the coaching basketball class Tuesday morning. He will spend the rest of the week moving from Columbus to Bloomington and assume his duties Sept. 12.\n"There are two appeals to this position," Fertig said. "One is coach (Bob) Knight and having the opportunity to work with someone of his ability, and second is that I'm working at a program that is one of the nation's finest, in terms of basketball tradition. When the opportunity was offered to me and I jumped at it. I feel very fortunate to be here."\nFertig will handle administrative duties for Knight and help assistant coaches Mike Davis, Pat Knight and John Treloar with their duties. Norm Ellenberger held the position before he took an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Bulls earlier this summer.\n"While I can't go on the floor and coach during practices, I'll do things along the line of scouting our own team, so I get a lot of coaching input," Fertig said. "And I'll be teaching the (coaching basketball) class and doing other administrative things to help Coach out. This isn't just a job, it's a special job in major college basketball. It's one of the premiere opportunities in Division I basketball."\nTreloar is said he is excited to have Fertig on the staff.\n"He's coming on board, and I think he's going to bring a lot of knowledge and experience," Treloar said. "He's been in the Big Ten, so he's seen what it takes to win in the Big Ten. I think he's going to be a great asset."\nJunior Mike Ward, a student in Fertig's first coaching basketball class, was impressed with Fertig's teaching ability.\n"He's a smart coach," Ward said. "He realizes that this class needs to go at a slower pace. He had us do a footwork drill that didn't even involve a ball." \nFertig, 55, started his coaching career at the University of Oklahoma working under coach Dave Bliss ' who was Knight's assistant at West Point and IU. He then coached at West Point and at Ohio State from 1989-92, but he's been out of the profession for the last eight years, working various business ventures. \n"I want to continue to learn and get back into the profession," Fertig said. "I've seen the other side. I've been away from it, and like a lot of situations, you learn to appreciate it and realize that you're in it because you love it. I found that this is what I really want to do. This is what I think I'm best at. Very few people get a second chance when they've left it."\nPat Knight and Fertig developed an association, almost by accident, when Pat Knight was coaching in Columbus. From there, they developed a friendship. When Pat Knight joined the IU staff, Fertig visited Bloomington on several occasions and watched a few IU basketball practices. His intensity at the practices caught Treloar's eye.\n"He started coming over and watching practice, and you could see that even though he was doing something different, his interest and heart was still there to continue to learn," Treloar said. "You could see how focused he was, and that he was trying to learn from coach Knight. \n"There are people that no matter their age, they seek out ways to make themselves more knowledgeable about their craft or profession, and you have to respect them"

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Recap.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student