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Thimlar steps down as Island Coast athletic director

September 4, 2019
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Dubbelde takes over for Gators


Terry Thimlar walked away the way he wanted to: Quietly.

Without fanfare, Thimlar left Island Coast High School and his job of athletic director after Friday night's football victory against Mariner.

There was no announcement, no fanfare.

Thimlar, 66, had let Principal Michelle Cort-Mora know as the new school year began that he was ready to step aside. He agreed to remain on the job until a replacement was found.

Island Coast found its new athletic director in Michael Dubbelde, who had been teaching at Riverdale for 14 years.

"I got my masters in sports admin from Miami four years ago," Dubbelde said, "and they were kind enough to believe I could do the job. I got the offical word last week."

On his first day on the job, Dubbelde was on hand for Island Coast's volleyball match against Cape Coral Tuesday evening, wearing the same green shirt and yellow gold tie that he wore to his job interview.

Thimlar had a career that included stints as an assistant coach at Florida and at Indiana State (his alma mater), where he worked with the ISU team that, led by Larry Bird, reached the NCAA championship before falling in a memorable duel with Magic Johnson and Michigan State.

Locally, Thimlar coached basketball at Cypress Lake and was the first athletic director when Dunbar High School was revived.

After a stint operating an NBA Development League team in Lee County, Thimlar became the Island Coast athletic director. During his administration, he stabilized an athletic program left reeling as four football coaches came and went in a flurry, and that saw boys basketball coach Greg Coleman leave to direct the Lehigh Senior hoops program.

"I've got some big shoes to fill, that's for sure," Dubbelde said. "He and his father, they're both icons in basketball down here."

Hugh Thimlar, who died earlier this year, ran a junior college basketball powerhouse at then-Edison Junior College/Edison Community College for 26 years. Hugh Thimlar also established what has become the City of Palms Classic, one of the nation's elite high school basketball showcases.

Between coaching high school in Indiana and ECC, Thimlar had a 40-year record of 604 wins and 452 losses.

Dubbelde, of course, isn't replacing Hugh Thimlar. Taking over for Terry Thimlar is enough.

"He had his system, and he had it down pat. Now it's my turn, not to change too much. If it's not broke, don't fix it.

"It'll take me a minute to get settled, but I have an admin background. I coached at FGCU for 10 years (lacrosse). I was the president of a conference, a collegiate conference; so I know how to administrate. And I know there's things that I want to do. Now it's getting to know the right people and how to approach the right people.

"Island Coast is awesome," Dubbelde said. "This place is awesome. The administration is awesome, the facilities are awesome.

"I'm excited."



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