After serving 12 years as an assistant coach, a junior varsity coach and as an associate head coach at various high schools inside and outside Prince George’s County, Chris Ferguson landed his first head coaching job this winter when he was hired to fill the vacancy as the Bowie High School girls basketball coach.
That hire was lauded by Bishop McNamara girls basketball coach Gary Lee, who coached with Ferguson the last couple of years, and Gwynn Park girls basketball coach Michael Strother, who believes Ferguson is more than ready to lead a Bowie team that could challenge for at least county and regional titles this winter with the return of 10 players from last season’s team that won 18 games.
“Coach Ferguson should do very well,” Lee said. “He knows the game and he’s been around the game for a long time and he understands the X’s and O’s. His biggest attribute is that he can relate to the kids and put everything into perspective. I knew that it was just a matter of time for him to get a head coaching job.
“When the Bowie job came open that was a blessing because in his heart he’s always been there. He has the heartbeat of that program. It’s just a blessing. If anybody can ever say a job fits an individual, that’s him.”
That’s because Ferguson is a teacher at Bowie and has served two different stints at Bowie in both the boys and the girls program. He has also served as either an assistant varsity or junior varsity coach at Friendly, Gwynn Park, Suitland, George Mason (Va.) and, most recently, McNamara, where he spent the past four seasons.
“It’s a perfect situation for Chris,” Strother said. “He’s waited his time out and I’m sure he’s going to do well. He’s a very dedicated coach. He’s been around the county for quite some time. I’ve known Chris for a long time. He’s very technical with X’s and O’s and he’s a good motivator.”
Needless to say, Ferguson is more than excited to be guiding the Bulldogs this winter. Through the first two weeks of the season, things are going quite well with victories against Parkdale (84-34), Laurel (63-36) and Oxon Hill (91-14).
“This is my 13th year coaching so I’m not a rookie to coaching high school basketball, but you always work towards bringing along your own program,” Ferguson said. “We’re doing well. I like what I’ve seen in practice. My style is a little bit different … but the main thing is to change the minds of how we do things to the way I want to do things here. We’re pushing it on offense and we’re attacking you on defense.
“I think we can do very well. The core is back, but they’re still learning my system. They’re not used to having a lot of offensive plays.”
Ferguson’s Bulldogs have been led so far this season by Ryan Maynard (13.7 points per game), Marshauna Butler (11.7), Tyra Durrett (8), McNamara transfer Serena Brown (6.7) and Jordan Maynard (6.3).
“I took my experience from all of those other schools, especially McNamara, which was nationally ranked and held to a higher standard than most other programs, and I’m bringing it over to Bowie now,” Ferguson said. “Bowie’s always had talent. I actually get to coach that talent.”