LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Go back nine years ago, before Todd Fergot was hired as Central's head basketball coach. The open job was between two assistant coaches: Fergot and Tony Servais.

"Hands down, this was the most difficult decision I've ever had to make," Central Activities Director Joe Beran said. "Having to choose between Todd Fergot and Tony Servais to be our head coach, I knew I couldn't make a bad decision because they're both excellent candidates. And the bad part about it was having to pick."

Beran picked Fergot. After one more year as JV coach, Servais became Fergot's top assistant.

"When Tony didn't get the job, certainly he was disappointed. There's no doubt about that," Beran said.

"I was crushed," Servais said. "It was one of those things where I really wanted the job. That's what I was going for. Whenever you apply for a job, that's the way it is."

"He handled it so professionally, I just can't say enough good things on how Tony handled it," Beran added.

Very quickly though, Fergot and Servais became very good friends. They bonded over how much they have in common.

"They are so similar in so many ways. Obviously their passion for teaching and coaching," Beran said.

"We actually have the same wedding anniversary. The exact same date," Servais said.

"They both have wives that are teachers, kids the same age," said Beran.

"Actually, all three of our kids are lined up within a year of each other," Fergot said.

As their kids have grown up together, so too has the basketball program they've built together.

"That's what's been so nice about it, is to see them grow, as almost co-coaches," said Beran.

"Obviously, just the more time you spend together, the closer you get to them and the more like-minded I think we are. I'll be thinking of something and I'll call him on the phone and it's like, boom! Yup, just had the same thought," Fergot said.

"It's really neat to have some success with these guys," Servais said. "Everyday it's fun to come to work."