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Hall of Fame Nominations for 2021
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Honoring 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees
Ronni is head coach of the University of Michigan women’s tennis team, a position she’s held since 2007. She’s led U of M to eight Big Ten Championships, three Big Ten Tournament titles, eight NCAA Sweet 16 berths and the quarterfinals of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. In 12 seasons as head coach she’s amassed a record of 261-77 to push her overall 22-year coaching mark to 426-146. In Big Ten action, she has a 122-6 record along with six perfect seasons. She’s one of two coaches in school history to amass at least 200 wins and is close to becoming the program’s all-time winningest coach.
She’s also led Michigan to nine 20-win seasons, including a program-best 26 wins in 2015 as the Wolverines swept the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles while advancing to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Her teams have appeared in each of the last 12 NCAA Tournaments.
Ronni arrived at Michigan after a decorated 10-year head coaching career at Florida International University in Miami from 1997-2007. The winningest and longest-tenured head coach in the history of FIU’s women’s tennis program, she compiled a career record of 165-71 as leader of the Golden Panthers.
She was a four-time All-American tennis player at Miami, winning the 1986 NCAA doubles championship and earning NCAA Senior Player of the Year honors in 1988. After receiving a business management degree from Miami in 1988, she played professionally on the WTA Tour for two years, achieving career-high world rankings of No. 30 in doubles and No. 78 in singles in 1989. Ronni was a two-time Virginia Slims of Puerto Rico doubles champion (1987, ‘89), a Virginia Slims of Aptos, Calif., doubles champion (1988) and a Virginia Slims of Wichita, Kan., singles semifinalist (1989) as a pro. She captured the 1984 Florida state singles championship as a senior at Miami Sunset Senior High School, and was also the 1984 USTA Florida State Closed singles champion. She was ranked No. 1 in the state during her last year of juniors.
With a basketball resume that includes 39 years of coaching at the collegiate or professional level, enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2002, three ABA Coach of the Year awards, 2001 NBA Coach of the Year honors, and an NCAA Championship in 1988, Larry is well known to Detroit sports fans for having guided the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons to the NBA Championship in his first year as head coach.
He became the first coach to win a NCAA and NBA Championship and the 12th coach in NBA history to win an NBA title in his first season. Larry coached an NBA record eight different teams to the NBA playoffs and ranks fourth among all-time NBA coaches in playoff wins (100). He won his 900th career NBA game in 2004-05, becoming the seventh coach in NBA history to win 900 games. He also became the second Pistons coach to lead the organization to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances. Larry joined the Pistons after six seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Larry has posted a winning record in 31 of his 39 seasons as a professional head coach or collegiate head coach and has compiled a 1,504-1,072 career record. In 27 NBA seasons he has a record of 1098-904, ranking eighth all-time among NBA coaches.
Hustle and defense are trademarks of a Larry Brown-coached team, and they’ve finished first in the division six times (1976-77 and 1977-78 with Denver; 1989-90 and 1990-91 with San Antonio; 1994-95 with Indiana and 2000-01 with Philadelphia).
Prior to joining the Sixers, Larry spent four seasons as head coach of the Indiana Pacers and compiled a record of 190-138. The Pacers’ all-time winningest NBA coach, he took the team to the playoffs three times, including the Eastern Conference Finals twice. Before joining Indiana, Larry was head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets, who he helped transition from the ABA to the NBA in 1976-77. After a two-year stint with the New Jersey Nets (1981-83), Larry spent the next five seasons as head coach at the University of Kansas, where he won the national championship in 1988.
As a coach, Larry draws on his playing days where he was a member of the 1964 gold medal U.S. Olympic basketball team. In 2000, Larry was assistant coach for the gold medal-winning men’s basketball team at the Sydney Olympic Games. He is the only U.S. male to both play and coach in the Olympics. Serving as head coach of Team USA at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, he led the team to a bronze medal. The three-time ABA All-Star holds the ABA record with 23 assists in a game and was Most Valuable Player of the ABA All-Star Game in 1968.
Ken was always interested in sports. In his younger days he played basketball, golf, tennis, baseball, football and ran track. He even bowled. As he got older, football became his passion. Ken is a 1981 graduate of Birmingham Groves High School where he was a three-time letter winner and a two-year/2-way starter in football and a two-time letter winner in track making All-League in track his junior year (800 Relay and Shotput) and senior year (800 relay). He was All-League, All-Area, All-County and AP All-State in football as a senior. During Ken’s sophomore year Groves finished as MSAA Champs and finished the regular season at 9-0, and made the Michigan High School Playoffs for the first time that year. In Ken’s senior year Groves finished as MSAA Co-Champs. Also that year he was a starting halfback, linebacker, returned punts and kickoffs and was the team’s placekicker. He led the 1980 team in tackles and set a school record with a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown. He was both the strongest (bench pressing 305 pounds) and fastest (running the 40-yard in 4.65 seconds) on the team. In summer 1981, Ken played in Michigan’s first High School All-Star game starting as a strong safety and punt returner on the East team. He had 12 tackles in the game, which the East won 6-3.
After graduating from Groves, Ken attended the University of Toledo where he was a three time letter winner in football and played on two MAC Championship teams in1981 and 1984. He was a part-time starter and excelled on Special Teams while at Toledo. During his career at Toledo, Ken had more than 60 tackles and two fumble recoveries. He was selected to the 1983 and 1984 Jewish All-American teams and was Honorable Mention Academic All-MAC in 1983 and 1st Team Academic All-MAC in 1984.
Arnie is entering his 25th season with the Detroit Pistons, serving as a consultant to the club’s medical staff for the second consecutive year. From 1992-2015, Arnie was a vital part of the team’s medical staff, serving as strength and conditioning coach. His unique rehabilitation methods and recovery approach made him one of the NBA’s top sports medicine and rehabilitation experts.
His duties included the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. An innovator in the field of injury prevention, sports rehab and physical conditioning field, Arnie is renowned in the professional sports world for his methods of application. He’s designed recovery and workout programs that have proven to be quite successful. He’s received credit for expediting the development of Detroit’s young players while maximizing the conditioning and overall health of the team’s veteran group. His methods emphasize stretching, core strength and utilization of strengthening muscle groups associated with specific basketball movements. While working for the Pistons, Arnie consulted and developed conditioning programs for some of the Detroit area’s finest professional and amateur athletes. A 1987 graduate in physical therapy from Wayne State University, Arnie submitted several research projects on isokinetic strength testing, jump training and developing a jump platform system.
Arnie began his career as the sports coordinator at Crittenton Fitness Institute and then moved to Rochester Knee and Sports Therapy where he worked as a staff therapist. He began his association with the Pistons while working at Rochester Knee and Sports. He left the Pistons organization to join former head coach Flip Saunders at the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2015 and oversaw the sports medicine program for two seasons.
Larry was a right-handed relief pitcher mostly with the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was most valuable player of the 1959 World Series when the Dodgers won its first championship after relocating from Brooklyn.
In 1961 he was fifth in the National League in saves (15) and games finished (34), and ninth in games pitched (53). In 1962 he was seventh in saves (11) and games pitched (58) Larry, a native of Los Angeles, played with the Tigers 1965 – 1967, and played with Houston in 1967. He spent his final season playing for the California Angels in 1968.
He ended his career with a record of 53-44 with an ERA of 3.67, 606 strikeouts and 82 saves. Following retirement, Larry coached the Dodgers’ minor league club, and was the Pittsburgh Pirates coach in 1977 – 1978. He was a member of Angels’ coaching staff in 1979 – 1980.
Larry and his brother Norm, Dodgers’ catcher 1959 – 1962, became first all-Jewish batter in major league history. Larry died in 2006.
Cale is head coach of the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville men’s soccer team. Most recently he was recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at MSU for four seasons. He previously served as head coach for the Under-18 USA Youth team for Maccabi USA, and as associate head coach for Detroit City FC in the NPSL. Cale graduated from Saginaw Valley where he played soccer four years. His coaching career began as a volunteer for Saginaw in 2006.
While at Michigan State, the Spartans reached the 2018 NCAA College Cup, falling to Akron in the national semifinals. During his time in East Lansing, Cale coached two All-America selections, 13 All-Region picks and 17 All-Big Ten performers. The Spartans had the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2016, the Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017 and the 2018 Midfielder of the Year.
Prior to Michigan State, Cale served as the head coach at Division II Saginaw Valley State University, where he guided the program to its first three NCAA Tournament appearances in 2011, 2012 and 2014. He led the Cardinals to the National Championship game in 2012 when the team set the program single-season record with 18 wins. Cale was recognized as the 2012 NSCAA National Coach of the Year. He also earned recognition as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012. He amassed a five-year record of 64-23-15.
Cale spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons as an assistant coach at Lewis University of the Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Flyers made two NCAA Tournament appearances including advancing to the Final Four in 2009 and the Regional Championship match in 2008. He also previously has served as the head coach for the Under-18 USA Youth team for Maccabi USA and as the associate head coach for Detroit City FC in the NPSL.
Pillars of Excellence
Lance was an award-winning high school and collegiate basketball player, playing for Birmingham Groves and then Stetson University in Florida.
He was Holly High School’s varsity boys’ basketball coach from 2005 – 2018, winning 175 games, the most in school history. He ranks fourth in number of wins in the 50-year history of the Flint Metro League. In 2015, Holly was Class A Regional Champion; first time in school history. His teams also won three Flint Metro League titles.
In 2015, Lance’s team set a school record with 22 wins including 19 straight wins for a 22-3 record. Twenty-three of his players went on to play college basketball. Also, in 2015 he was Oakland County Coach of the Year.
Lance founded Coach Lance’s Holly Hoops in 1997, teaching basketball skills to boys and girls in kindergarten through eighth grade. He grew the program from 25 to 125 kids in eight years. He gave all participants basketballs and was known for giving free hamburgers if he made a half court shot – on his knees – at the end of each Saturday session.
Dr. Jeffrey Kovan
Jeff grew up in a sports-loving home: the family attended games for all of Detroit’s pro teamsand enjoyed friendly competitions of one-on-one basketball games and dunk competitions on their 9-foot hoop in the driveway, to full out competitive whiffle ball in the yard.
Jeff graduated from Michigan State with a Bachelor of Science in 1983 and then immediately began graduate work at the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Upon completing his residency in family medicine and a fellowship in sports medicine, Jeff took on the role as Head Team Physician at Western Michigan University. In 1995 Jeff and his family relocated to East Lansing when Jeff accepted the role as Team Physician and Fellowship Director at MSU.
Shortly after Jeff’s arrival at MSU, he became the Head Team Physician and eventually Director of Sports Medicine and Performance. For the past 24 years, Jeff has worked with MSU Athletics providing patient care responsibilities across all men’s and women’s sports and served as a leader in general health care-related issues at not only MSU, but across the Big Ten and NCAA.
Jeff’s experience at MSU and his desire to venture into additional opportunities allowed for him to serve as a Team Physician for the US Olympic committee at the Paralympic games in Sochi, Russia, in 2014 and the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, in 2014. He has worked with other MSU faculty on collaborative projects in Ghana and most recently Tanzania on youth sports and utilizing the motivation of sports to enhance student academic engagement.
Jeff maintains a busy academic appointment within the medical college teaching undergraduate, graduate and medical students while serving as the program director for more than 60 Primary Care Sports Medicine fellows since 1993.
Presently, Jeff is involved in a number of research projects involving concussion assessment and treatment, eating disorder questionnaires, ACL knee injuries and post-surgical return to play and the use of intra-nasal insulin to assist with cognitive function in athletes following a head injury.
Volunteerism is another area that Jeff has devoted himself to in his community. For many years he has served on the leadership committee of the National Kidney Foundation in Mid-Michigan. He also volunteers his time for local high school sports coverage, community road races and covers free injury clinics throughout Mid-Michigan.
Jeff continues to serve in his role at MSU as the Head Team Physician, Director of Sports Medicine and Performance and Associate Professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
David grew up on the playgrounds of Newton, Massachusetts, and the athletic fields of Camp Alton in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, excelling in both baseball and football. As a halfback, he starred at Newton South High School leading in rushing. After graduating from the University of Toledo with a degree in journalism, David relocated to Flint where he worked in radio news.
David went on to graduate from Cooley Law School and then opened a private law practice in Flint. David then ventured into the world of politics becoming a Trustee and Clerk in Flint Township for 12 years. In 2004, he ran for and won the position of Genesee County Prosecuting Attorney and is currently serving in his fourth four-year term. A highlight of David’s political career includes being the Democratic nominee for Attorney General in 2010.
In 1998, David read an article in the Flint Journal about the need for football officials in the Michigan High School Athletic Association; he quickly signed up. When David first began officiating it became apparent he had a natural talent for the job and he developed a strong reputation for his knowledge of the game and the rules, and for being a strong authority on the field with an ability to make quick and sound judgments. It didn’t take long before he ended up wearing the white hat as a referee and leading his crew on the field.
David has officiated many league championships in the Flint Metro, Saginaw Valley and Genesee Area Conference leagues involving players who would go on to collegiate and professional careers.
Having officiated dozens of state playoff games, David considers the 2007 Division 3 State Championship game between Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and East Grand Rapids at Ford Field as his most memorable as the game went into five overtimes; it remains the longest game in state finals history.
Billy is Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the basketball and football programs at North Farmington High School. He was formerly Football Strength and Conditioning Coach at Farmington Hills Harrison High School. At Farmington he’s been part of 11 state football championship teams. In 2010 he shared the Hawks’ state championship with his two sons as they were players on the team.
A former player for Coach John Herrington’s Harrison High football team from 1977-1979, Billy maintains a beloved school tradition: The Leftover Turkey Bowl. This annual event is attended by more than 100 alumni.
Billy is applauded as a youth mentor and actively participates in local reading programs. He cares about the students as if they were his own. He and his wife, Tracy, have two sons.
Joseph Epstein (Z”L)
A 1953 Central High graduate, Joe was varsity football captain as a junior and senior. His family relocated to Detroit from Brooklyn just years earlier; Joe had to leave behind his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers.
He played Division II football at Wayne State while earning his bachelor’s degree in physical education and health sciences. He also earned his master’s degree in secondary education and mathematics from Wayne. Joe taught in Detroit Public Schools from 1957 – 1966, and then moved to Livonia Public Schools until his retirement in 1990. In Livonia, Joe taught physical education and health, and coached football, basketball and girls’ softball. As coach, the Livonia Franklin softball team played in the State Championships in 1985 and won the Class A State Championship in 1986.
His love of children, teaching, and athletics, inspired Joe and his wife, Linda, to start Totempole Day Camp; it operated for several years until it was sold in 1967.
He taught good sportsmanship, fair play, honesty and integrity. And to always have fun. Joe was also an early activist for gender equality in the early days of Title IX and continued fighting for, and finding scholarship funding for his female athletes, a cause he continued to support long after he retired.
Joe died in 2012 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The words “The Coach” are engraved on his headstone.
Shirley and Alvin Foon Humanitarian Award
Jewish News High School Athletes of the Year
Danielle “Elle” Hartje
Dr. Steven (Z’L) and Evelyn Rosen Stars of Tomorrow Scholarship
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Hall of Fame Induction 2016
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