It has been a long recovery, but Carmel High School girls basketball coach Kevin Sweeney is on the mend after an accident in late July 2018.
Sweeney broke three vertebrae in his neck and back when getting knocked to the ocean floor while vacationing with his family in the Dominican Republic.
“Things have gone well,” the Carmel resident said. “I am still going through (physical therapy) and working on the pain and range of motion. I still have numbness in my right hand. I know it will get better with time. But after surgeries, and you’re dealing with nerves, I didn’t know how quickly I would recover. But things have progressed well.”
In his absence, assistant Erin Trimpe has served as acting head coach this season. Prior to the scheduled Jan. 25 regular-season finale at Ben Davis, the Greyhounds had won six consecutive games to improve to 12-9. Carmel opens Class 4A sectional play Jan. 29 at Hamilton Southeastern.
Sweeney said he has been attending games and sitting on the bench.
“I am not actively coaching,” said Sweeney, who is expected to resume full duties as head coach after the season.
Sweeney, a former Chatard and Lawrence North coach, had been hired in May 2018 as Greyhounds coach. He replaced Tod Windlan, who was dismissed after last season despite a 24-3 record in 2017-18.
“The team has had a lot of adversity the last 10 months or so,” Sweeney said. “Sometimes adversity is something you need to come across to be successful. I think the players in the program have developed additional character with all that has happened. This group is resilient. No matter what has been thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole or issue, they find a way to adapt, improvise and overcome adversity.”
Sweeney is proud of his coaching staff as well.
“They entered a difficult situation to start the year and have handled the changes with poise,” he said.
Sweeney said the staff has developed the team seamlessly while playing the toughest schedule in the state.
“It’s has really been fun to watch this team evolve this season,” he said. “They are on a great roll entering sectionals and in a great place right now.”