Coaches who land in trouble with the law often fall into one of two categories: charges connection with sexual liasons with teenagers, and charges connected with physical altercations.
Prairie Ridge, Ill. girls basketball coach and physical education teacher Rick Lima finds himself under investigation for something very different: He allegedly stole more than $65,000 worth of assets from an elderly woman in the summer.
As reported by the Northwest Herald (a Chicago Tribune publication), Lima is facing two counts of financial exploitation of an elderly person after an investigation found he was “using more than $15,000 of assets belonging to a woman older than 70.” He was also charged with taking some $50,000 from the same woman in July.
Lima is in his third season as the varsity girls basketball coach at Prairie Ridge, taking over from Steve Rick midway through the 2015-16 season. That year the Wolves went 13-4, with the team following with a disappointing 10-18 2016-17 campaign. The current Prairie Ridge squad is 12-12.
Neither the coach nor any representatives from the state’s attorney’s office or Community High School District 155 have issued a comment about the incident. It’s not even officially known who is leading the program in Lima’s stead; the team played its penultimate regular season game Tuesday night in a 55-43 victory against Jacobs High.
The team’s final regular season game will come against Cary-Grove on Wednesday, which gives any replacement coach a full week to prepare to fill Lima’s shoes on the sideline, for at least a game.