Lake Zurich coach fired after 'inappropriate comments'
Chuck Gandolfi accepted full responsibility for remarks he made that led to his abrupt dismissal as Lake Zurich's baseball head coach this week.
Gandolfi acknowledged that he made inappropriate comments on a couple of occasions to his team during recent practices. After it was brought to the attention of Lake Zurich's administration, Gandolfi was questioned about his comments and actions.
"I didn't deny anything," said Gandolfi, who's known for his sense of humor, which apparently crossed the line this time.
On Thursday, Lake Zurich replaced the hall-of-fame coach with Tom Reagan, who will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of this season. Reagan is a driver's ed teacher and also serves as the assistant athletic director at the high school.
Gandolfi was in his third season at Lake Zurich. He coached Carmel Catholic's baseball team for 21 seasons, winning 554 games before he and the high school parted ways after the 2009 season. He won 10 regional and five sectional championships, and his 2004 Corsairs finished third in the Class AA state tournament. In 2008, he was inducted into the Illinois Baseball Coaches Association hall of fame.
Lake Zurich went 19-13 in Gandolfi's first season in 2014, then finished 15-20 last year.
"At Carmel, when I got released and we did nothing wrong there, and the program was great, I was crushed," Gandolfi said. "This time, this is on me. Do I think I should have been let go? No. But that was their decision. I can handle this. I'm fine.
"The worst part is it's embarrassing for my family and my boys (adult sons Josh, Charlie and Thomas). I hate to go out like that. Plus, we really had a team that's improving, working great and is going to be very good, with a great dedicated staff."
Gandolfi will continue to coach the Northern Knights, an elite college-bound high school summer tournament team, and work with the Lake County Lightning, an elite travel baseball program.