Wildcats get a new basketball coach who’s not new to Oxford

Coach Joe Fedorinchik. Photo courtesy of Oxford Community Schools

Hello, Coach Fed

By Don Rush

Last month the Oxford Athletic Department welcomed a new varsity basketball coach to its team. Joe Fedorinchik took over the reins of the program from longtime coach, Steve Laidlaw.

(Laidlaw coached the Wildcats at two different times, from 2002 to 2009 and most recently for the last seven seasons starting in the 2016-17. In his last seven seasons Laidlaw accumulated a 96-64 record, including a 41-37 league record, nine playoff wins,a district title and a regional semifinal game in 2018-19. That year Oxford went 23-2 –19-1 in the regular season — and won the OAA Blue league title. The district title was the first since 1993.)

Fedorinchik is the new coach, however he is not new to the program. He actually played for Laidlaw his senior year at Oxford High School, 2004. Back then, as a senior basketball player Fedorinchik had his own following. On Feb. 25, 2004 the Oxford Leader reported:

Those attending Oxford’s home varsity basketball games may have seen a new sight this year – on average 10 elementary youths holding up large signs and wearing ‘Fed X’ t-shirts.

No, these youngsters are not showing their love for a well-known delivery company. They are showing their appreciation and dedication to senior varsity basketball player Joe Fedorinchik. ‘I met him this past summer at basketball camp,’ said fourth grader Ryan Reason, the originator of the ‘Fed X’ cheerers. ‘I really appreciated that he kept working with me everyday and I got better because of him.”

These days “Fed X” goes by the nickname of Coach Fed.

Coach Fed, 37, is also a teacher at OHS. He has nearly 20 years of coaching experience which includes 17 years within the Oxford Basketball program. The last seven years as a varsity assistant coach JV head coach. Coach Fed launched the Oxford Basketball Club for youths in Oxford and is an Oakland University graduate.

When the Fed X moniker was brought up he smiled. “Wow, that seems like forever ago. A few of the kids from our youth morning camp called me the Fed X delivery guy because I delivered 3-pointers. I wish I could have made a few more,” he said with a laugh. “But I definitely keep that with me when I talk to my current players on being a positive role model for the younger kids. We’ll have over 100 kids coming to our youth camp in a couple weeks with all of our players working as coaches. These younger kids look up to our players so it’s important that they set the example for them.

I am very grateful and thankful to be the basketball coach. It’s a tremendous honor. I’m very passionate and enthusiastic about coaching, it doesn’t really matter if it’s an open gym, practice, or game. That’s just what’s ingrained in me. The thing that I love most about it is developing relationships with the kids. We’re going to focus on three things this year and we move forward into the season. We’re going to preach positivity, commitment, and toughness,” he said.

He said he was also grateful to Coach Laidler. “The thing I learned most from Coach was his tireless work effort. He was relentless and he got the most out of his players. Over the last several years he led our program to some of the best years in program history. Trey Townsend, who was 2nd team all-league in the Horizon League, is at Oakland U. Bryce Esman saw minutes in his freshman season at Wayne St. Coach did a great job building the program and establishing consistency.”

Of the upcoming basketball class, Coach Fed said he’s looking forward to the challenge. “I’m taking over a program that returns three kids who started as sophomores and another two sophomores who came off the bench. So there’s definitely going to be some high expectations for us this year and we’ll welcome that.”

When he’s not teaching and coaching at the high school, Coach Fed returns home to his wife Kim and their two sons, Theo, 6 and Owen, 3.

I wouldn’t be able to do this without her. She’s been incredibly supportive of my coaching throughout the years and very supportive of my desires to be a varsity coach.”



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