As the Ripon Tiger boys’ basketball team was getting ready for its regional final game against Omro in 2016, Dean Vander Plas sat in the weight room by himself.
The head coach watched his iPad as his daughter, Taylor, a senior at Cedarville University, played for a conference championship and an NCAA Division II Tournament berth.
Taylor played one of her best games of her collegiate career, which included sinking a 3-pointer late in the contest to give her team a lead. But the opposing team answered with a buzzer-beater to end her career.
With the Tigers’ game approaching, Dean waited about 15 minutes and decided to call Taylor and tell her how much he loved her and how proud he was of her.
He’ll never forget her response.
“Dad, I wish you were here.”
It killed him that he wasn’t there for his daughter, he said.
Dean isn’t going to make the same mistake again.
The Tiger head coach submitted his letter of resignation this morning (Wednesday) to Ripon Athletic Director Bill Kinziger.
Read the full story, including comments from the coach about his decision to resign, in the April 20, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.