“The coach is a bully,” parent Marybeth DeLaMar said of Grayslake North head varsity basketball coach Todd Grunloh. She addressed District 127 board members during the May 26 meeting.
DeLaMar has been a resident of Grayslake for 15 years and has three children who have graduated from Grayslake High Schools, one attended Central and the others North; both of her children at North had Grunloh as their coach. DeLaMar also has four other children who have yet to attend North.
She said she has heard Grunloh speak down to the players, saying things like, “Why did you do that? Are you retarded?”
“This has happened year in and year out and it’s getting progressively worse. I want professional development from him. We need to do that with our coaches [and] athletic director,” DeLaMar said.
When asked what action she hopes the board will take, she said, “During this time, that he be asked to step down,” she said.
Although she clarified she was not suggesting anyone be fired, rather, "I would like the same expectations for the coaching staff that the school has for the players, all players, not a chosen few," she later said.
DeLaMar said she and her husband have voiced their concerns to Grunloh, District 127 Athletic Director Tina Woolard and to Grayslake North High School Principal Scott Fech.
Noel DeLaMar, a 2008 alumnus of Grayslake North, was a three-year varsity basketball captain and also addressed the board. He said that rather than learning how to be a better player during his time with Grunloh he “learned how to please a coach.”
“I learned how to keep my feelings and opinions to myself,” he said. He said that as much as the game is about winning it is “also about the growth of the team.”
Noel currently plays basketball at Concordia University and discussed the parallels between his current and past coach experiences. “A team is only as good as its last player. Coach Grunloh does not care about the last player on the bench,” he said.
Marybeth said the two chose to speak at the meeting because athletic positions were up for discussion on the agenda. Marybeth said that other parents have voiced concerns over the years “only to have it fall on deaf ears.”
Following their comments the board went into a closed session. As per board policy board members could not comment on what was said during public participation.
Denise Kindle, District 127 assistant superintendent, said she could not comment on the issue. Grunloh was not present at the meeting for comment.