INDIANAPOLIS — There will soon be a new multipurpose field at Tarkington Park on the city’s north side and it will have a very special name.
The Indy Parks Department officially announced Monday that the new field will be known as the Richard “Coach Nell” Hamilton field in honor of the youth football coach murdered in January.
The field at Tarkington Park has been the home of the Indy Steelers youth football program, but Coach Nell wanted something better.
“He’s been an advocate for his team from day one,” said Parks Director Phyllis Boyd.
The Steelers program focuses on at-risk youth and works to keep them out of trouble. Coach Nell had been lobbying the Indy Parks Department for years to build a proper field for his players.
Thanks to $3 million from the Lilly Endowment, Boyd was able to give him the good news this past January.
“I feel lucky that I was able to give him that good news,” Boyd said.
Six days later, Coach Nell was shot to death in a road rage shooting on I-65 near County Line Road.
Indiana State Police said the shooting happened shortly before 6:30 p.m. and at the time their investigators were looking for a silver or gray sedan-style car with dark tinted windows.
However, the case remains unsolved.
“He wanted to give our community this field, and he helped make that happen,” said Coach Nell’s widow Tiffany Hamilton.
On Monday evening, the parks department made it official and named the future field after Coach Nell. Recognizing the impact he had on so many kids and cementing that legacy.
“He accomplished a lot,” Hamilton said. “This is his dream for our city, for everything, for our family.”
Coach Nell’s mother Donna said the day was hard, but seeing all the people that turned out for the ceremony made it a little easier.
“I miss my son so much, but he went down as a legacy and I’m so proud of him,” Donna said through tears.
The Steelers program continues on even with Coach Nell no longer here. One of his fellow coaches said he is confident justice will be served.
“I’m just going to put it in the lord’s hands because he got all the power,” Jonah Hampton said. “So in that situation, whoever did it: your day is coming.”
Indy Parks officials said they expect to begin construction on the new field in May 2024 and hope to cut the ribbon on the new facility in May 2025.
Anyone with information about Coach Nell’s case is asked to give CrimeStoppers a call at (317) 262-TIPS.