Sudden Exit of Coaching Staff Rocks Hinsdale Central High Girls Basketball Team

Sudden Exit of Coaching Staff Rocks Hinsdale Central High Girls Basketball TeamSource: Google Street View
Richard M. Sullivan
Published on December 08, 2023

In a sudden shake-up that has left the Hinsdale Central High School girls basketball team in limbo, three coaches have stepped down from their posts. Among them is head coach Erin Navolio, who is also a former player and a first-grade teacher at Saint Francis Xavier, a private school in La Grange. In a move that has the community buzzing, the school district announced that athletic director Mike Jezioro will temporarily take over coaching duties.

The coaches' resignation came about abruptly, forcing the team to postpone their Tuesday game against Proviso West. This development is particularly shocking to local sports enthusiasts, as it is rare, even unheard of, to just walk away in the middle of a season. "From school leaders across Illinois I've talked to today, no one can recall a time when there's been a coaching staff to just up and leave in the middle of the season," Joe Trost, an advocate for students and athletes, told ABC7 Chicago.

Navolio, who took the helm as head coach in 2022, has been notably absent from commenting on this recent and unexpected turn of events. Attempts to reach her for a comment were unsuccessful. Her assistants, who also resigned, have remained silent on the issue as well. The team's performance this season has been off to a shaky start, with only two wins out of six games, which has speculation swirling around potential reasons for their sudden exit.

Concerns have been mounting over the well-being of the players amid this turmoil. "A lot depends on their resilience to move through this," said Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame coach George Rosner in an interview with ABC7 Chicago. "Yeah, it's gonna be a real tough transition to say the least." The district, however, is striving to quickly right the ship, reassured by the school's commitment to its students' well-being: "We want to thank the Red Devil community for its patience as we navigate this situation, and for its continued help in supporting the growth, development and success of our student-athletes," the district said in a statement obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

Meanwhile, the Hinsdale Central High School basketball program isn't the only one facing challenges in the district. Just a week prior, Hinsdale South's boys basketball team found itself at the center of a lawsuit filed by Darien resident Erin Savage, alleging retaliation against her son by the former head coach. This controversy followed an investigation into claims of "verbal abuse, bullying (and) humiliation," leading to the coach's demotion.