Some men are lucky enough to teach the game they love as a career and some kids are lucky enough to be talented and play the game they love. Sometimes, the men lucky enough to coach are also lucky enough to have sons who are talented enough to play the game.
The athletes lucky enough to play for their fathers are the luckiest of them all—men’s assistant basketball coach Jordan Fee is one of them.
“I love the game so much that if my father wasn’t a basketball coach, I would’ve found my way to it at some point,” said Fee. “I can’t imagine my life without it.”
Fee grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and his father was the basketball coach for Grove City High School. He played under his father’s coaching for all four years of high school and further developed his inherited talent.
After his year at the Air Force Academy Prep School, Fee played two seasons at the Division I school, University of Detroit Mercy. Fee then transferred to West Liberty University in West Virginia, and played two more years for a Division II school before ending his collegiate basketball career.
Fee’s first real application of basketball skills was at the University of Clarion, near Pittsburgh, where he served as a graduate assistant for a year.
“I really got my feet wet and got a chance to do a lot on the court stuff,” said Fee.
A year later, Fee went back to the University of Detroit to become a graduate assistant and finish his master’s degree in athletic leadership. This was not just another opportunity for Fee, but rather served as one of his best coaching experiences so far.
“Getting to coach with a coach that I was able to play with as a collegiate athlete was one of the best experiences,” said Fee. “We had a different dynamic as a coach-and-coach than coach-and-player, and that certainly benefitted me a lot.”
For Fee, coaching is not a nine-to-five job, it’s a lifestyle. He comes to NSU with a coaching philosophy that revolves around strong coach-athlete relationships.
“Coaching is all about relationships—how you deal with people and how you treat people,” said Fee.
He goes about building these relationships by getting to know his players.
“The more questions I ask these guys, the more they understand that I am interested in them,” said Fee. “Being young certainly helps, too, because I’m able to understand what they’re going through, having just gone through it myself.”
Although instantaneous respect is gained by Fee after his first few encounters with the team, he believes that it’s a matter of time, wins and losses before he gains the team’s sincere respect and trust.
With his good character, professionalism and integrity, Fee hopes to present his athletes with the blueprint of how a college basketball career can be transformed into a great life.
“I try to teach them this by motivating them to strive for their goals and reach their high potentials,” said Fee.
Although Coach Fee never gets tired of coaching basketball, he prefers playing the game because he likes to have real control of the ball instead of coaching from the side of the court.
“Both sides of the game are very fun and rewarding in different ways,” said Fee. “I still play whenever I can.”
Although coaching can be very demanding, Fee says he loves the outdoors and always tries to make time for golfing, fishing and reading.
With his ultimate goal of creating champions in life, Fee hopes to win a national championship here at NSU and fulfill his dream of becoming a head coach by the age of 30.
“I’m 27 now. I’m certainly content where I am,” he said. “But if it happens, then great, if not, I’ll continue working hard for it.”
In the midst of Fee’s busy life, support from his father remains the most significant aspect of his life.
“My father being proud of me is the most important thing. I’m closest to him, and we always shared the same passion; it means everything to me,” said Fee.
Caption: As a coach, Fee enjoys being able to influence his players in the most pivotal time of their lives.
Photo printed with permission from J. Fee