Six days after being hit in the head by a 12-pound shot put, Marmion Academy coach Ed DeGeeter was looking forward to being released from the hospital Wednesday.
DeGeeter was hit during warm-ups Friday at the Illinois High School Association sectional track and field meet at Elgin High School.
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Speaking from his hospital bed at Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin, DeGeeter said his mind is still foggy from the medication, and his recollection of the event sketchy.
"I don't remember really getting hit with a shot put," said the 42-year-old shot put and discus coach from Naperville. "I honestly don't remember what was going on ... and I got hit in the head. I'm still trying to put the pieces together, and trying to recover, which is the main thing right now."
DeGeeter was standing off to the side of a pie-shaped throwing sector. The shot put is supposed to stay within those lines. A male athlete launched the shot put that struck DeGeeter, who was standing at least eight feet outside of the sector, looking down at his clipboard, according to Marmion Athletic Director Joseph Chivari.
DeGeeter was bleeding but conscious, and at first resisted being treated by paramedics, according to Daily Herald sports writer Jerry Fitzpatrick, who covered the competition Friday.
DeGeeter had never been hit with a 12-pound shot put in his nearly 10 years coaching at Marmion, though such accidents are not unheard of, he said.
"This is the most serious," DeGeeter said. "It was just one of those accidents of competition.
"Something like this, probably I haven't heard too many instances of this. People have got hit, and died too."
The impact, right above DeGeeter's left eye, cracked his skull. There was some blood loss, and his left eye was swollen shut for a few days. DeGeeter was in intensive care for two days, and his head was patched up with staples.
"I was lucky enough to kind of have a hard enough head and probably catch it in the right spot," he said. "Last couple of days, I've been able to open it (left eye) up myself."
Coaches, parents and students from Marmion and other schools have visited DeGeeter frequently.
He said he did well on his physical therapy test, though he may need a few more days at home to recuperate.
Officials at the Aurora school would not comment on the accident or when DeGeeter may return to work.
"He is recovering very nicely," said Chivari, adding that the administration has asked staff members not to comment further.