Carmel Dads’ Club (CDC) was established in March 1959 by a group of fathers, teachers, coaches, and administrators in the town of Carmel, Indiana, with the intent of supporting Carmel High School students and their athletic programs.

A man stands behind two rows of young boys wearing little league t-shirts.
Carmel Little League Baseball Team, 1961 Credit: Pete Davis

The first board of directors included Charles Hubley, Kevin Staley, Richard Helmuth, and Don Huffer. The club also involved a number of talented coaches during its early years. Dick Nyers was hired as the football coach in July 1958. He was a successful athlete at Manual High School, then at Indiana Central College, and played professionally with the Baltimore Colts. In 1958, Bill Shepherd was coaching in Mitchell, Indiana, when he was hired to coach basketball in the newly constructed Carmel High School gymnasium. He was a successful athlete at Butler University under Tony Hinkle.

Howard Wodock played professional baseball and wanted to give his sons an opportunity to play summer baseball. He, along with Neil Schmeltekopft, Jerry York, and Dale Graham, established Wodock Field in 1961.

Faded photo shows two men shaking hands. One holds a large trophy. Two young boys photobomb in the background.
At the end of the 1967 basketball season, Owen Park, president of the Carmel Dad’s Club presented Coach Dick Nyers with a service award. Credit: 1967 Carmel High School Pinnacle Yearbook View Source

Other Dads’ Club coaches began programs modeled after those that Nyers and Shepherd put in place at the high school level. As boys who participated in Dads’ Club sports entered high school, the football, basketball, and baseball teams began achieving winning seasons.

Carmel Dads’ Club has grown into a successful feeder system for a variety of sports for boys and girls ages Pre-K through high school for all levels of ability. Over 750 teams in a variety of sports are supported by mothers and fathers who volunteer their time. Boys and girls who play sports through CDC are given opportunities to develop not only physically but also learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and citizenship. The Dads’ Club also provides special programs for emotionally and physically impaired children. Besides baseball, basketball, and football, the CDC offers golf, lacrosse, rugby, softball, soccer, volleyball, and cheerleading. The children compete against each other in house league games as well as through opportunities on travel teams.

The Carmel Dads’ Club headquarters is located at Badger Park at 5459 East Main Street in Carmel. Badger Park is named for Mark Badger, son of Jack and Ila Badger, an enthusiastic participant in CDC who died from cancer at the age of 10 in 1979. The first soccer field at Badger Park opened for play in 1983. In 2020, Badger Park as well as other facilities and playing fields located throughout Carmel and Clay Township served over 11,000 children.

A new Carmel Dads’ Club field house will open in late 2021.

Revised March 2021

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