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Hundreds rally amid rush hour traffic in honor of Coach Nell 

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Chants, cheers, cries and clamoring horns rang out in memory of Coach Nell amid rush hour traffic as nearly 250 people marched during the Stop the Violence Walk on Aug. 4. 

Richard Donnell Hamilton, known to the community as “Coach Nell,” was shot during a road rage incident on I-65 near Greenwood on Jan. 11, 2023. 

Hamilton was integral to the advancement of the Butler-Tarkington and Crown Hill communities. He, alongside other neighborhood fathers, founded Indy Steelers, a youth football organization, in 2005. 

A longtime friend of Hamilton and fellow Indy Steelers coach Daryl Smith Sr. provided insight on the foundation of the Steelers: “The organization was built on four pillars: mentorship, community involvement, academic success and the love of football,” Smith said. 

Coach Nell, Stop the Violence Walk, Indy Steelers
(Photo/Noral Parham III)

The organization’s first practice was held at Tarkington Park near the intersection of 40th and Illinois Street. Many of the Indy Steelers’ games took place at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, or simply “Tab,” a mile southeast of the park. This was a stroll Hamilton made with his players many times in the past. 

In honor of Coach Nell, this was the route of the Stop the Violence Walk on Thursday evening. 

The Stop the Violence Walk is the opening event of the youth football tournament of the same name. The event was set up via the Indy Steelers and the MG Dad’s Club Youth Sports Football League. 

Before the start of the walk, Donna Hamilton, Coach Nell’s mother, shared her thanks to those attending: “I wish we all were gathered here today for a different reason, but that is not the case,” Hamilton said. “My son would’ve wanted everyone to stop the violence and put the guns down.” 

Coach Nell, Stop the Violence Walk, Indy Steelers
(Photo/Noral Parham III)

The route of the Stop the Violence Walk began at the southeast corner of Tarkington Park near 39th and Meridian Street. The crowd headed south toward 38th Street and east toward Central Ave. Many motorists tailed the protestors providing support and safety along the busy streets. 

As the intense crowd arrived at their destination, the sun began to shine bright in a cloudless sky. Dontaye Hamilton, Coach Nell’s youngest son, immediately took notice of the gesture. 

“The sun is shining on all of us, and I know it’s my dad,” Hamilton said. 

For those with information regarding the murder of Richard Donnell “Coach Nell” Hamilton, call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477). 

This story was composed by multi-media staff writer Noral Parham III who can be reached at 317-762-7846 or via e-mail at noralp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @noralparham. For more stories like this one, click here.

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