Our hearts are heavy with the passing of Coach Donnell Hamilton. Coach Nell was the long-time Coach of the Indy Steelers who practiced at Tarkington Park. We had the honor of sharing the exciting news with Coach Nell just last week that the Tarkington Park Multi-Purpose field, where the team practices, would be receiving much-needed improvements as part of the recent Lilly Endowment Grant announcement.  

We encourage you to take a moment to view 4th & Goal: An IndyStar documentary on the kids everyone counted featuring Coach Nell and the Indy Steelers. It is evident that his loss will have profound effects. 




The Parks Alliance is working closely with the MLK Center as they lead efforts to support the youth and families who are impacted by this tragic loss. Click here to contribute to the MLK Center’s Care Fund benefiting the family’s funeral expenses and future care for his children. The MLK Center’s 40 West Digital Team is asking community members to visit the MLK Center on Monday, January 15 from Noon – 5 pm to record a short video on What did Coach Nell mean to you? That will be compiled into a tribute. 




This photo was taken last fall at CommuniTEA Meet and Greet at Tea’s Me Community Cafe with the Indy Steelers organized by Butler-Tarkington resident and team advocate Sabae Martin. 

Related links:  

Indianapolis Recorder He got in trouble as a teen. Now he coaches football to keep children off that path 

UPDATED: March 30, 2023  

On Tuesday, March 21 the Indy Parks Board voted to approve the naming of the recently-funded multi-purpose field Richard “Coach Nell” Hamilton Multi-Purpose Field at Tarkington Park. The vote was predicated by more than 1,000 signatures, several letters of support, and public testimony supporting the field naming. Please read more below to learn about how Coach Nell’s legacy will live on.   

Related links:  

Indy Star The field “Coach Nell” once fought for will soon be named after him 

Indianapolis Recorder The house that Coach Nell built: new field to be named after slain coach