NWIUNOTES: Highland's Fierek 'sidelined' and loving every second of it

2013-12-04T17:30:00Z 2013-12-12T02:00:07Z NWIUNOTES: Highland's Fierek 'sidelined' and loving every second of itAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
December 04, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

You just knew Eddie Fierek couldn't stay away for long after resigning as Highland boys basketball coach in March of 2012.

"I needed a little time away from the game to see if I'm going to miss it; if I want to come back to it," he told The Times back then.

Well, Fierek has returned, fresh as baked bread.

The Indianapolis native is serving as coach Ryan Sexson's assistant at Calumet College of St. Joseph.

"It feels good. It kinda came to me. I wasn't looking," Fierek said. "But Gary Hayes threw my name out to Ryan, who was looking for somebody with a fresh perspective.

"Ryan called me and we hooked up. He didn't want a 'yes' man. He's given me a lot of freedom."

Fierek had a 61-93 record in seven seasons at Highland, including 17-7 in 2011-12, which featured a 10-game win streak and upsets of Bishop Noll and West Side.

“I am really excited about the ways in which Eddie can impact our basketball program,” Sexson told the school's web site. “He has nine years of head coaching experience and is well connected throughout the state of Indiana.

“Eddie brings a great passion and understanding for the game of basketball and I think our players will really enjoy working with him both on and off the court.”

Fierek, 36, still teaches health and weights at Highland.

Before coming to Highland, Fierek coached at Noll for three seasons, leading the Warriors to a conference championship and sectional title. He helped develop guard Gary Patterson into an Indiana All-Star in 2005.

Prior to coaching in Northwest Indiana, Fierek was an assistant at IUPUI while finishing his student teaching.

He has also coached Jr. High and AAU basketball in Central Indiana and assisted many summer basketball camps at Wright State University, IUPUI, the University of Dayton, West Point, and Xavier University.

Smoke and sizzle: The South Suburban College men's basketball team, ranked No. 1 in NJSAA Div. II, plays host to Kankakee Community College tonight at 7.

The Bulldogs are 9-1.

"It's an honor to gain respect nationally," coach John Pigatti said. "It's the third time in the last four years that we have been ranked No. 1.

"I am happy for our players. We are going to relish this and play each day with a chip on our shoulder and try to keep this ranking as long as possible."

The Bulldogs are 8-0 at home and an incredible 116-5 overall in this, Pigatti's eighth season.

Deck the hall: Indiana University Northwest will announce its inaugural Hall of Fame class later this month.

Building for the future: Groundbreaking for Purdue University Calumet's new athletic facilities is scheduled 2 to 4 p.m. Monday at the Jean Shephard Center in Hammond's Dowling Park.

Sultan of Smother: Purdue Cal's Brandon Bradford, a Lew Wallace grad, ranks fourth in NAIA Div. II with 21 blocked shots in nine games. He had five in the recent win over St. Francis.

Stop that thief!: PUC guard Noah Allen had five steals in Tuesday's win over Olivet-Nazarene University and now ranks second in the country in both total steals (35) and steals per game (3.9).

PNC in need of coaches: Purdue North Central has head coaching openings for its prospective women's volleyball and cross country teams.

All inquiries should be sent to director of athletics Tom Albano at talbano@pnc.edu

Pitching in for the holidays: The PNC baseball and softball teams will be helping to make meals with the LaPorte Salvation Army for their Holiday Blessings Dinner on Dec. 7.

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