Bob Lapadot retires from coaching, leaves Garrett girls basketball

Now former Garrett girls basketball coach Bob Lapadot calls out to his team during a November 23, 2021 game at Angola.

Bob Lapadot has reached the end of the line for his coaching career, he confirmed to Outside the Huddle on Thursday. Lapadot resigned as the Garrett girls basketball coach earlier this week and is looking at the chance as a retirement from the sidelines.

“It sure feels like retirement. I was born here, went to school here, been here my whole life. I can’t imagine me going and coaching anywhere else,” Lapadot said. “You never say never and that’s been said by many people. It is certainly not in the works now; its retirement and I’m going to go watch all my kids in college play and just come and cheer these kids on as a fan.”

For Lapadot, the plan is one that has been in place for almost a year, if not longer.

“Going into the season, that was the plan all along. I didn’t want to announce it at the beginning of the season and make this about me or put pressure on these kids,” Lapdot said, noting that its possible he would have retired in 2022 if that team had won a state title.

“I just wanted to make sure it was right, and I still wanted to do it. I feel like definitely this was the time.”

Since his sophomore year in college, Lapadot has been on the sidelines, meaning he has been doing it for the past 28 years. Now, at 48 years old, Lapadot says a lot of what comes next will all be new to him.

“I have literally done this my entire adult life. I’ve never had a Christmas break, never had a fall break, never had a month of June. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do I guess,” he joked.

Lapadot spent 12 seasons leading the Railroaders, compiling a 193-91 record along the way.

The program won a Sectional title just three years into his tenure, going 23-1 in the 2013-2014 season with the one loss coming in Regional play. Their next title would come with a talented sophomore class in 2020. That same class would become Regional champions as seniors in 2022, missing a trip to the state finals by one game.

This past season’s team gave Garrett their third Sectional in four years under Lapadot, led by Garrett’s all-time leading scorer Bailey Kelham.

During Lapadot’s 12 seasons with the Railroaders, they would finish under .500 just once. Lapadot won four conference titles (two Allen County Athletic Conference, two Northeast Corner Conference) at Garrett and he served as head coach of the 2022 girls’ Junior All-Stars.

Lapadot looks back on his tenure with a lot of things to be proud of. He says a combination of off the court growth in the lives of his players and keeping Garrett successful both are critical moments for him.

“You take the top 10 scorers, I’ve coached them. It has been so incredible to have so many great kids. The thing I am most proud of…when I took over this program with all the expectations, changed from 2A to 3A, to be able to continue the success of this program is probably something that a lot of people didn’t think would happen.”

Lapadot has seen many of his players move on to play on the college level, but it isn’t just what they are doing on the court that will stand out for him.

“Seeing the kids getting married, becoming successful…it’s the off the court stuff. It may sound cliché but it’s really not,” Lapadot said of what makes him most proud of former players.

Garrett will now look for just the third time in over 20 seasons as Dan Feagler ran the sideline for many years before Lapadot took over in the 2011-2012 season.

Lapadot will return to the sideline at least one more time. He told Outside the Huddle that he will still fulfill his commitment as an assistant coach for the Indiana All-Stars. Lapadot will be an assistant on the senior All-Star team with the staff of Penn coach Kristi Ulrich for the three games the Indiana All-Stars will play.

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