Girls basketball: Teipel leaves Dundee-Crown for Mundelein, her alma mater

  • Sarah Teipel is leaving Dundee-Crown after nine seasons to coach at Mundelein, her alma mater.

    Sarah Teipel is leaving Dundee-Crown after nine seasons to coach at Mundelein, her alma mater. Daryl Quitalig/for Shaw Local

 
 
Updated 6/8/2022 10:27 AM

Sarah Teipel never saw herself leaving Dundee-Crown, but an opportunity to return to her alma mater was too good to pass up.

Teipel, who led the girls basketball team at D-C for nine years, resigned last month and accepted a head coaching and teaching position at Mundelein. Teipel's hire was approved Tuesday at the Mundelein High School District 120 board meeting.

 

Teipel, a 2005 Mundelein graduate who played four years at Western Illinois, previously was a varsity assistant at Mundelein for three years before getting the head coaching job at D-C in 2013.

"I poured my heart and soul into D-C, and I'll always feel like a piece of my heart will be there," Teipel said. "I never really envisioned myself leaving but I always had a dream of returning to my alma mater. I had an awesome experience at Mundelein and grew up in that area. I've got a big piece of my heart in that place, too.

"I'm really thankful for all the support from [D-C] and the community. It's been a very rewarding experience to feel like I've impacted a lot of lives there and also been impacted by so many good players, students and families. It's been an amazing experience, and it's hard to say goodbye to it."

Teipel led D-C to a 141-124 record, four regional titles and one sectional championship. The Chargers went 29-7 in 2020, winning the Fox Valley Conference championship outright, and claimed their first sectional in 17 years.

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The Chargers' 29 wins from 2020 were a team record, with the season ending one win short of D-C's first state tournament appearance since 1984. Teipel had a special connection with that team and senior class.

The Chargers won 90 games from 2017 to 2020, or an average of about 22 wins a season.

"I coached those kids since they were in fifth grade, so having the opportunity to watch them grow up and coach them all through high school and get to such a pivotal game in supers, that was one of those things that's hard to put into words," Teipel said.

"They still come back and they're working in the gym all the time. They're working summer league. Those are lifelong relationships you build. They were so good. They were all great leaders, and they all loved the game. It was a special group."

Dundee-Crown athletic director Steve Gertz said Teipel's leadership will be missed.

"We were sad," Gertz said. "Sarah's a very elite coach and there's not many people that coach at her level. She demands respect but gives respect to everyone she works with. It's going to be a huge loss. She puts in more time than probably any other coach I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The success we've had is really driven by her organization and her leadership."

Gertz said Teipel had the respect of all her students.

"She loves her students and she made herself available to her students 24 hours a day," Gertz said. "If there was anything she could do to help them, she was going to do it. She expects a lot and she gives a lot. She's in there physically showing them what to do. Her practices are very similar to a game-like setting. It's very intense, and she expects her students to play at a high level at all times."

Teipel hopes to bring over the values she helped foster at D-C to Mundelein.

"Stressing 110% effort, attitude and really stressing a family culture," Teipel said. "Building relationships with students and coming together as a program where everyone supports one another, and that starts with dedication and commitment."

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