Tom Cappel back coaching Crete-Monee

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After thinking about it for approximately two weeks, Tom Cappel has decided to return to Crete-Monee as its boys basketball coach.

“If I was going to return, I knew I had to make a decision soon,” Cappel said. “It’s the kids. I like being with those kids. I’ve been coaching all my life. This wouldn’t have been the way to go out.”

On October 9, a stunned Cappel received a termination letter in his school mailbox.

Two days later, he was offered his job back by principal Dr. James Harden. Cappel, though, asked for time to consider whether he would accept the offer to return.

While Cappel, 67, is back, Crete-Monee athletic director Linda Peete is on administrative leave. Peete allegedly fired Cappel without following District 201-U protocol which, according to superintendent Nathaniel Cunningham, “demands the board of education must act on a recommendation by the district administration. There was no such recommendation to terminate Cappel received or issued by the administration.”

Cappel has led the Warriors to a 53-20 record during his three seasons. He’s won more than 500 games during a three-decades-plus career, most of which occurred at Hillcrest, where he guided the Hawks to 19 consecutive conference championships and two trips Downstate.

“Dr. Harden and Mr. Cunningham have been very supportive and encouraging,” Cappel said. “I’m happy to be back and I’m looking forward to the season.”

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