Redefining the Classroom

Annual golf classic is top-flight

Posted: June 14th, 2007

HIS SUPERIOR LEGACY --Lake Superior State University President Betty Youngblood holds up a special award for Ronald “Bud” Cooper as around 200 LSSU alumni and friends applaud him. Cooper’s legacy as student, coach, administrator, and mentor was feted during a reception at LSSU’s annual Lake State Golf Classic, held June 10 and 11 in Gaylord. LSSU Athletic Director Kris Dunbar, foreground, was co-presenter. (LSSU photo by John Shibley)

A print-resolution photo that runs with this caption can be found by clicking here.

Contacts: Tom Pink, 906-635-2315; John Shibley 635-2314; Tom Coates, 635-6670

To view a slide show of some Lake State Golf Classic activities, click here.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State University’s 18th-annual Greater Peninsula Orthopedics Lake State Classic golf tournament brought in more than $20,000 for Laker Club grant-in-aid scholarships. The June 9 -11 event at Gaylord’s Otsego Club attracted more than 165 alumni and friends of Lake Superior State.

One highlight was special recognition of Ronald “Bud” Cooper during a reception on Sunday night. Everyone enjoyed stories about Cooper’s career as a student athlete, coach, and athletic director. Cooper’s sons David and Kevin were there, along with grandsons Craig, Brian, and Bradley. Program speakers included Ed Douma, former Laker men’s basketball coach; Kris Dunbar, LSSU’s director of athletics; and Ron Mason, director of intercollegiate athletics at Michigan State University. Bill Crawford, LSSU’s vice president of marketing and university relations, served as master of ceremonies.

Douma ran men’s basketball at LSSC from 1974 to 1978, posting a record of 85-25. He became a member of the LSSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998 and recently concluded his basketball career by coaching Hillsdale College.

“Bud held post-post-game meetings at his house,” recalled Douma. “You can’t run away from coaching feedback when you’re in your boss’s kitchen or living room as a guest for dinner.”

He added that Cooper deserved much credit for a 27-4 winning record garnered by Douma’s 1975-76 squad, a record that still stands today for men’s basketball.

Ron Mason was Lake Superior State’s first varsity hockey coach, hired by Bud Cooper in 1966. Mason coached for seven seasons at Laker Superior State, compiling a record of 129-47-8. He went on to become a major force in college hockey, with coaching stints at Bowling Green State University and Michigan State. He has been MSU’s athletic director since July 2002.

“Bud took a big chance on me when he hired someone who was not only younger than him, but almost the same age as his players,” said Mason. “I was honored to work under him when hockey was just starting at Lake Superior. So many alums and coaches have been touched by this program, including (former player and present national-champion MSU head coach) Rick Comley and (CCHA-champion Notre Dame head coach) Jeff Jackson.”

LSSU Athletic Director Kris Dunbar offered a perspective from three points of view, as a Laker athlete, head women’s basketball coach, and present athletic director.

“I developed as a student athlete here, found my calling as a coach here, and I now run a program that’s responsible for what I’ve become,” said Dunbar. “This is what LSSU is all about: creating opportunities, taking a chance on someone with talent and then giving them a shot at their dreams. This is Bud Cooper’s legacy and it is what LSSU is today.”

Dunbar and LSSU President Betty Youngblood capped the evening with a special gift from the university. Cooper and his family accepted a poster-sized photomontage of Cooper’s years as a student, coach, and college administrator at Lake Superior State.

The Classic’s golf portion picked up on Monday morning with a scramble that started between 9 and 9:30 am. Forty teams vied for first-and second-place tournament honors at the Otsego Club’s Tribute and Classic courses.

Taking first place with a score of 56, in Flight A on the Tribute Course were Tom Farmer, Steve Hettinga, Tim Moher and Brian Robinette. Second place Flight A, also on the Tribute, was the team of Karl Merkle Sr., Karl Merkle, Jr., Rich Gray and Ted Ryson with a 58.

In Flight B on the Tribute, Chuck Cliff, Rick Fitzpatrick, Chuck Schmidt and Doug Welton took first-place honors with a score of 59, while the team of Dick Bowerman, Dennis “Fuzzy” Boyak, Pat Gagliardi and Dale Immel placed second scoring a 60.

Special event winners on the Tribute were Doug LaPrade, Longest Drive and Bud Cooper for longest putt.

On the Classic Course, Bill Arsenault, Dan Arsenault, Jason Wenzel and Jason McClure combined for first place scoring a 60 in Flight A, while the team of Dan Bruni, Jon McDonald, Cory Metro and Rod Priskorn were second place with a 64.

With a score of 64, the Flight B, first-place team was Gary Benjamin, Ron Rowe, Bob Siekas and Ted Tuma on the Classic Course. The foursome of Greg R. Cheeseman, Greg S. Cheeseman, Jim North and Rob Winkelman carded a 65 for second place. Special event winners on the Classic Course were Men’s Longest Drive; Mark Starkweather and Longest Putt was Greg Cheeseman. Julianne Underhill had the Women’s Longest Drive and Mary Callawaert, longest putt.

Senior-Champions were the team of Neal Godby, Dave Freeborn, Jack Truckey and Harry Pike. While the top Women’s team was the squad of Linda Bouvet, Jane Duffield, Kris Dunbar, Jamie Pewinski and Stacey Swanson. The team of Carol McClellan, Marge Somes, Gayle Arnold and Doc Lanctot placed second.

Laker Hockey Alumnus Tim Hanley ’95 provided his tee shot services as an additional fundraiser at the event.

A silent auction of unique donated items was held in conjunction with other tournament activities. The auction was chaired by Gary McClellan, with Tony Bosbous, Carol McClellan, Rick Mick, Gil Somes and Virginia Zinser serving as committee members.

The 19th Lake State Golf Classic is slated for June 7-9, 2008. Call the LSSU Foundation at 906-635-6670 for information and sponsorship opportunities.

Lake Superior State’s Foundation acknowledges individual and corporate support of this year’s Golf Classic:

Name-the-Event Title sponsor: Greater Peninsula Orthopedics, Dr. Shane Woolever

Classic Bash & Breakfast sponsor: Fudge du Locke

Classic Awards Ceremony sponsor: Fudge du Locke

Media sponsors: WYSS/WKNW, WSOO/WSUE, and Charter Media

Classic Saturday Social sponsor: Central Savings Bank

Classic Course sponsor: Fund Evaluation Group, Inc., John Pelon

Tribute Course sponsor: Cooper Dental, Kevin & Pamela Cooper

Grillin' 'n Chillin' sponsors: International Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, Dr. Richard Ganzhorn and Riverside Medical Associates, Dr. Robert Mackie

Beverage Cart sponsor: Superior Physical Therapy

Classic “IPO” sponsor: Merrill Lynch, Jason Trzcinski & Jeremy Bachusz

Refreshments sponsor: Coca-Cola Bottling, Kincheloe, Mich.

Corporate partners: Cooper Dental, mBank, National Office Products Inc., the Walt North family, Northern MI Insurance Agency (Ron & Corey Sober), Pingatore Cleaners, Inc.

Hole-In-One sponsor: O’Connor’s, CDJ Inc.

Corporate sponsors: Arfstrom Pharmacies Inc., Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mich., Champion Inc., Dura Automotive, First National Bank of St. Ignace, Integrated Design Solutions, Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone (Dean Altobelli), Old Mission Bank, Peoples State Bank of Munising, Promotion Concepts, Inc. (Bill Arsenault), and Sault Printing Inc.

Special Events sponsors: D. Beacom Insurance Agency, Edison Sault Electric Company, Huntington Bank, Century 21 (Gary Kay), Thomas G. Robinson D.D.S., Don Wilson Insurance Agency, and Soo Motors

Hole sponsors: Allstar Graphics, Checkered Flag Party Store, Tony & JoAnn Comito, East Jordan Iron Works, Terry & Nancy Heyns, Holiday Inn Express, Kewadin Casinos, Rodney Lang ’82 & Jeff Wallace ’83, Edward Jones Investments (William McLeod), Sandra & Debra Orr, Quaker State - Quick n Clean, Edward F. Smith M.D., Soo Co-op Credit Union, Dr. Betty J. Youngblood, and Zorba’s Restaurant