Coastal Elite Basketball's Fred Vergenz has IT background, knack for design
Vergenz doesn’t have fond memories of playing sports as a kid in the Cincinnati area. On the contrary, his one foray into baseball was sadly unforgettable. “I was so bad, the first time I got a hit I didn’t know which way to run,” Vergenz said. When the season was over, Vergenz said his coaches made it clear he need not play again the next year. “At 8 years old, that was actually quite crushing,” Vergenz said. Vergenz, who describes himself as “100 percent geek” is married to a former Division I softball player in Julie Soderlund Vergenz, an Escondido, California, native and former standout shortstop at Oklahoma State University. Fred and Julie are raising two boys, ages 11 and 9, just north of San Diego in San Marcos. Fred has a degree in management and information systems from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and works as an IT manager. When his boys joined San Marcos-based Coastal Elite Basketball, Vergenz, who also has experience as a developer, was a natural choice to take over the webmaster duties for the growing club. “What’s kind of cool, too, is this a way for me to stay involved in my kids’ activities,” Vergenz said.
Vergenz helped the club transition from the old, hodgepodge of software it had been using onto the SportsEngine platform in June – just in time to help get Coastal Elite’s spring registration up and running. The club was founded in 2003 and within a few months had grown to 15 teams. It now has about 35 teams, with boys and girls players mostly from San Diego’s North County area ranging in age from 8 to 17. One of Coastal Elite’s biggest assets is its coaching staff, which includes co-founders Dante Carey, Chris Featherly and Chris Kroesch, each of whom also serve as head basketball coaches at area high schools. “They are all professional coaches,” Vergenz said. “It’s not a daddy-ball type of organization.” Vergenz created a Coaches page that includes photos and bios of the coaching staff. Vergenz put his self-taught graphic design skills to use by creating the site’s home page banner. “That was my first attempt, a proof of concept to (the club’s co-founders),” Vergenz said. “They end up saying, ‘Just put it on there.’ ” Vergenz also created the home page graphics promoting the league’s Friday Night League and Coastal Elite store.
Vergenz works to keep fresh content flowing onto the site through a Player of the Week feature. The articles include a brief bio on the player that explains why he or she is being honored. There’s also quick-hitting categories such as Favorite Food, Favorite Subject and Hobbies. Each bio also includes a quote from the player’s coach.