Members of the Carmel High School girls basketball team led a march April 28 through downtown Carmel in support of Tod Windlan, their former coach who was dismissed from the program April 20.
Supporters yelled “Bring him back!” as they marched from CHS through the Arts & Design District and back.
Tod Windlan was not at the march, but his wife and mother attended to show their appreciation.
“It’s been so hard for him, and we as a family are so humbled by your love and support,” said Stacey Windlan, Tod Windlan’s wife, before the march. “He loves each and every one of you and feels like he’s made an impact on you guys at some point in your life. Even if this doesn’t work out, he’s always got your back.”
Organizers said they planned the march with hopes of Tod Windlan getting his job back. They also said they wanted to shed light on the fact that at least two other coaches have been dismissed in recent years with little explanation.
Carmel Clay Schools issued officials said the situation is a personnel matter and declined to give a specific reason for the dismissal, despite requests from players and their parents.
The district issued a statement April 26 that outlined some of the steps that led to Windlan’s dismissal. It stated that coaches are employed under a year-to-year contract and there is no expectation a coach will be rehired each year. It also stated CHS administrators conducted a review of the program that included interviews with athletes, coaches and parents.
“The review revealed that there were differences in opinion regarding the leadership provided by the head basketball coach,” it stated. “What become clear, however, was that the players and families involved in the program had become divided and the program could be adversely affected by that division. The administration determined a change in leadership was necessary.”