In addition to Coach Yeager, Bruce cites Norm Platine (baseball) and Robert Page (track) for recognizing his potential and working with him. Bruce also acknowledges Earl Kimber (basketball) as another inspirational coach.
Bruce summarized the attributes that best characterize his athletic career as “stick-to-it-ive-ness,” persistence, being a team player, never giving up and fulfillment in a job well done.
Bruce played varsity baseball, basketball and football at the Detroit University School. In 1951 and 1952, he was on the footall team that won the SSC Championship. In 1952, his basketball team was the District Champs in Class D. In 1952, Bruce was on the varsity baseball team that took the SSC championship. Bruce received 13 out of a possible 16 varsity letters in four varsity sports.
At Western Michigan University, Bruce participated in varsity football and intramural basketball and was an intramural badminton singles champion. After college, he played semi-pro baseball as a pitcher in Canada.
Chuck Wright, '66, GPUS
Chuck’s “fierce desire to compete” began back when, as a 5-year-old, he played with the 8-year-olds on the Kerby School playground. Interested in every sport, he played baseball, football, basketball, tennis and swam as he was growing up.
At GPUS, Chuck helped lead the tennis team to the state championship in 1964, 1965 and 1966. He was the 1966 MVP in both tennis and football. After Liggett, Church played soccer, basketball and tennis at Trinity College and received eight varsity letters. He also received the school's Middleton Award for being the Trinity athlete with the most spirit. Chuck was named Top Midwest Senior tennis player and was also inducted into the Michigan State Hall of Fame for tennis.
Coaching became a very important part of Chuck’s life. During his career, he started the varsity tennis team in Charlevoix and coached it and the freshman basketball teams for a number of years. His coaching career at Liggett included seventh and eighth grade soccer; junior varsity basketball and tennis; as well as varsity basketball and varsity tennis. His honors included league coach of the year in basketball multiple times, and state coach of the year in tennis.Onnie Killifer, '74
It’s not a cliché to say that Onnie Killefer has sports in her blood. One grandfather was a professional baseball player and coach, and the other played in the first Davis Cup Tennis Team in 1905, representing the U.S. Along with her mother, Onnie was a runners up at the National Mother-Daughter Grass Tennis Championship in Rhode Island in the mid-1970s.
While at Liggett, Onnie played field hockey, tennis, volleyball and basketball. The field hockey team she was on was undefeated in her four years with the team and unscored upon in the last two years.
Onnie went on to play field hockey at Stanford, where she was an All-American her last two seasons. She also played two years of varsity basketball and a year of tennis. She was one of the first field hockey players west of the Mississippi to make the National Field Hockey Team in 1978. The team beat Holland, the number one team in the world, and many other nations that year. They trained for the Olympics in 1980, but the U.S. boycotted the games in Russia, so they didn’t compete.
After coaching field hockey at Stanford and taking an unknown, unranked team to a #12 ranking, Onnie went back to school for a master’s degree in Physical Education. Today, she is the department chair in Kinesiology/PE at Cabrillo College in northern California, where she teaches physical education.
Andrea Kincannon, '83
Mike Coello, '90
While at Liggett, Mike played varsity hockey, during which time he was named to the All-State Academic Team, First Team All-State, MVP in 1990 and served as team captain in 1988-89 and 1989-90, during which the team won the Michigan State Ice Hockey Championships. Mike played varsity soccer and was named to the second team All-State. He also played varsity lacrosse and was named to the second team All-State twice and the All-State Academic Team.
Mike played varsity ice hockey at Williams College, where he helped the team rank first in its division and took home the William E. McCormick Coaches' Award. While in college, he also played junior varsity lacrosse and soccer.
After college, Mike played professional hockey for a year in Landeslida, Erding, Germany.
After graduating from Liggett, Mike went on to Williams College in Massachusetts, the University of Michigan Medical School, and is associate staff at the Division of Thoracic Surgery at William Beaumont Hospital; assistant professor of surgery, Oakland University William Beaumont Hospital School of Medicine; and co-director, Center for Reflux and Esophageal Cancer Prevention at Beaumont.