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Island Coast Gators to honor Terry Thimlar

September 25, 2019
Special to The Breeze ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Island Coast High School is set to celebrate Terry Thimlar's retirement as the school's athletic director Friday. Thimlar will be honored at halftime with a short ceremony at the Gators' home football game against Fort Myers High school at 7 p.m.

Island Coast High School Principal Dr. Michelle Cort-Mora said this week she is excited about the celebration and looking forward to the well-deserved recognition.

"Terry Thimlar has a rich, decorated career as a mentor, coach and athletic director," she said. "He has positively impacted many Lee County high schools and most re-cently Island Coast High School. As an athletic director, he consistently put student-athletes first to help them reach their full potential."

Sports and the business of sports has been Thimlar's life and passion. In 1972, he graduated from Pike High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, after helping to lead his basketball team to a sectional and regional championship. At Edison Community College (now FSW), he was a two-year starter, earned his A.A. degree and was a Phi Theta Kappa national honoree. Following E.C.C., he earned his B.S. degree in economics at Indiana State University while also serving as a student assistant for the Sycamores men's basketball team. In his senior year at I.S.U., the team finished the season 25-2 and participated in the NIT.

After I.S.U., Thimlar was hired by the University of Florida as an assistant coach for the 1977-78 basketball season. In the 1978-79, he returned to Indiana State where the Sycamores finished the year with a perfect 28-0 regular season record, the No. 1 ranking in the country, and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The season ended when Indiana State, led by Larry Bird, lost one of the most memorable NCAA Championship games in basketball history to Michigan State, which was led by Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

Thimlar also began his own basketball camp, The Thimlar Basketball Camp, in Fort Myers, where he developed all marketing and business operations.

In 1986, Thimlar became the head boys' basketball coach at Cypress Lake High School and in 1994, opened Lehigh Senior High School as its first head boys' basketball coach. In 1996, he was hired as the head boys' basketball coach at the basketball powerhouse, Muncie Central High School, Muncie, Indiana. In the fall of 1999, he was hired as the athletic director for the new Dunbar High School in Fort Myers.

In the spring of 2004, Thimlar organized an investor/ownership group that purchased an NBA Development League team, the official minor league of the NBA. For the Florida Flame, he served as team general manager and assistant coach for Dennis "DJ" Johnson in the 2004-05 season. And in the 2005-06 season, he was the team's general manager and assistant coach for Jeff Malone.

Thimlar returned to the Lee County District as a teacher at Cape Coral High School in 2009 and became athletic director at Island Coast High School in 2016.

Island Coast High School is located at 2125 De Navarra Parkway in Cape Coral.



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