Maybe Tom Cappel will be coaching Crete-Monee’s after all.
Whether he does or doesn’t, however, the decision likely will be up to him.
After learning Monday he had been fired, Cappel received an unexpected phone call on Wednesday. It was from Crete-Monee principal Dr. James Harden, who offered Cappel back his job.
“Yeah, I was a little surprised, to say the least,” Cappel said. “Dr. Harden said that I hadn’t been fired. He didn’t know anything about it [the firing] until recently and that it didn’t go through proper protocol. He asked me if I wanted to come back as coach. I told him I’m going to have to think about it.”
On Monday, Cappel went to Crete-Monee and found a letter of termination in his school mailbox. He attempted to gain an explanation from athletic director Linda Peete, but she had a “do not disturb” sign posted on the door to her office.
When contacted on Wednesday, Peete had “no comment.” A call to the District 201-U office was not returned.
Cappel was 52-30 during his three-year stint at Crete-Monee, including a 15-13 record during the 2013-14 season.
He spent 23 years at Hillcrest, compiling a 504-146 record, including 19 straight conference championships and two trips to the state finals. He retired from Hillcrest after the 2006-07 season.
However, when Matt Ryndak was fired as boys hoops coach at Crete-Monee in 2011 after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Cappel took over the program.
“I’m sure all the players heard that I had been fired,” Cappel said. “I don’t know how that will affect our relationship moving forward. I still love to coach and I’ve dedicated a lot of time to these players, as they have to me. I have some thinking to do before I make a decision.”