Freeberg Joins Men's Basketball Coaching Staff
CHARLESTON, S.C. - College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik continues to assemble his coaching staff as he announced the addition of Ryan Freeberg as assistant men's basketball coach on Tuesday.
Freeberg, 35, joins the program after spending the last four years as an assistant coach under head coach Steve Eck at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College - one of the top junior colleges in the country.
"Ryan has been in the business a long time and has worked hard to get to where he is now," Wojcik said. "He has coached at the Division II and junior college levels and I'm glad to be the head coach who gives him the opportunity to move up the coaching ladder. Ryan has experience in recruiting nationally and has coached talented players who have been successful at each of his stops including a traditionally-successful junior college program in Hutchinson. He is humble and loyal and a positive role model for young players with his enthusiasm, passion and drive for the game."
From 2008-12, the Blue Dragons compiled an overall record of 98-32 with four-straight 20-win seasons and were ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in 19 years during the 2010-11 campaign. The program had several players go on to play at NCAA Division I schools such as NJCAA First Team All-American Darius Johnson-Odom, who starred at Marquette and is a 2012 NBA Draft prospect, and NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention guard Joe Mitchell, who transferred to Wichita State.
Noted as one of the rising stars in the business by CBSSports.com Senior Basketball writer Jeff Goodman in 2010, Freeberg previously served as a head coach at the NCAA Division II level for three seasons at Concordia (Minn.) University and continued to help craft basketball talent at The Patterson School for two seasons in Lenoir, N.C.
"I am excited to work for a great coach in Coach Wojcik and a wonderful university with a rich tradition," Freeberg said. "The College of Charleston has a long history of developing great players and I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to help continue that tradition."
During his time as an assistant coach and athletics director at Patterson, the North Carolina prep school posted seasons of 36-2 and 36-4. Freeberg and head coach Chris Chaney would also send 22 student-athletes to Division I programs such as Tennessee, Rutgers, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Arkansas and Georgia.
Before Patterson Prep, Freeberg spent five overall seasons at Concordia, the final three seasons as the Golden Bears' head coach where he helped transform the program into a conference contender. Before Freeberg took over the reins in June of 2003, Concordia's men's basketball team won just 22 games in the previous three years. In his three seasons as head coach, Concordia won 41 games. In 2005, the Golden Bears went 18-11 and 7-7 in conference play which marked the second-most wins in the program's Division II history.
Concordia continued to prosper in 2006, making its first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament appearance. The Bears would also finish first in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in scoring defense (65.3 ppg). Freeberg coached five all-conference players, the No. 2 and 7 career-scoring leaders, 15 academic all-conference players and his teams never had below a 3.0 grade-point average.
After a two-year playing career at Bethany Lutheran (Minn.) College under head coach Art Westphal, where he was a point guard on a 39-11 squad which won a conference championship, Freeberg started his coaching career as an assistant varsity coach and head junior varsity coach at St. Clair High School in St. Clair, Minn.
In the summer of 1997, he went back to Bethany Lutheran to serve as an assistant coach. He spent four seasons there, helping the Vikings stay atop the Minnesota Community College Athletic Conference. The program also won one Southern Division title and made one NJCAA Region XIII appearance.
Originally from Mankato, Minn., Freeberg earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Minnesota State, Mankato in 2000 and his master's degree in organizational management from Concordia in 2004. He is married to the former Juli Westphal and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Lydia (9) and Ella (7).
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT COACH FREEBERG
"Ryan is a hard worker and is very deserving of this opportunity. His knowledge of the game and positive energy and influence will bode well for the College of Charleston." - Hutchinson Community College Head Coach Steve Eck
"Ryan Freeberg is a terrific hire for the College of Charleston and Doug Wojcik. He'll be one of the elite young assistant coaches in the country - it's just a matter of time. His knowledge of the game and on-court abilities are impressive and he's a guy who has grinded it out at the Division II, prep school and junior college level, which will help him in being able to recruit nationally. I've known Ryan Freeberg for a long time - and this is a home-run hire for Wojcik and the Cougars. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's a Division I head basketball coach one day. He's that versatile and talented." - CBSSports.com Senior Basketball Writer Jeff Goodman
"Coach Freeberg and I have had a long relationship. He is someone who is near and dear to my heart. He always gave me the opportunity to get better whether it was on-or-off the court. He is a great mentor to guys and always had my best interest at heart. He is someone who understands the game at a very high level. The College of Charleston is not only getting a great coach, but a great person." - Former Patterson School and Hutchinson Community College player and NBA prospect Darius Johnson-Odom, who finished his college career at Marquette University