BY CORY WOODROOF
For former Centennial basketball coach Pete Froedden, a new opportunity returns him to a place he knows well.
The longtime Nashville basketball staple started his coaching career in 1994 with Hillsboro High School and now returns to that district of play as he takes over the Hillwood High School basketball program.
The school introduced him and new girls coach Bradford Bishop Friday afternoon as leaders for Hillwood’s future, one that includes moving to a new campus in Bellevue and being renamed within the next two-to-three years.
“It’s exciting [to be the new coach] because of everything going on here at Hillwood,” Froedden said. “To be able to come to a place where your administration is so solid and is so forward-thinking in their vision, is exciting, and obviously, when you add in [that] you’re going to move into a state-of-the-art facility in a couple of years, it really gets your juices flowing.
“We’ve got an opportunity to do something special. We’ve got an opportunity to do something for the first time, and me having the opportunity to be the head coach of a school that is opening for the first time is exciting. I’ve never done that before. There’s a lot of work that goes into it, but there’s a lot of excitement that goes along with it.”
Froedden, 11-AAA’s Coach of the Year, parted ways with Centennial in March unexpectedly after four seasons in Franklin as the Cougars’ head coach.
He speaks positively of his experience with the Cool Springs-based high school.
“I’ll always have a huge place in my heart for the kids at Centennial,” he said. “As a matter of fact, just driving over here, I was looking at just multiple, multiple congratulations from all the parents that I had at Centennial.
“I had an opportunity to work with [former Centennial principal] Dr. Leigh Webb, who, to me, is just a dynamic leader, and she continues to prove that over and over again … [I] just feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have coached some great kids, and to have worked for an administrator as strong as Dr. Leigh Webb.”
Froedden will be inheriting a 6-18 team that only won two district contests in the 2018-19 season.
Hillwood faces basketball heavyweights like Cane Ridge, Overton and Hillsboro on that stretch, as well as teams like Hunters Lane, Glencliff and Antioch. The school also shares a region with 11-AAA, where Centennial and all the big Williamson County schools are slotted.
He said he wants to push ahead with the Hilltoppers the vision he brought to the Cougars, one he said he saw Centennial’s athletes respond to.
“I think that’s what was so neat about Centennial,” Froedden said. “All our kids really wanted to be a part of what we built there. And that’s what we’ll try to do [at Hillwood].”