Members of the Athletic Hall of Fame

Meet the previous inductees to the Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Inaugural Class

Bruce Garbutt, '53, DUS
Bruce’s early years of baseball, ice hockey, basketball and ping pong prepared him well for his varsity career at Detroit University School.  In fact, one of his most memorable coaches, William Yeager, said he had the fastest hands he had ever seen, which Bruce attributes to playing a lot of ping pong at a young age.
 
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
Growing up, Andrea Kincannon was naturally drawn to physical activity and anything fun. Encouraged by her parents, Andrea participated in track and played basketball while at Liggett. 

Andrea's track abilities were recognized by the Michigan High School Athletic Association and she was named an individual state champion in the 200-meter dash in 1980, 100-meter and 200-meter runs in 1981 and 1982 and the 400-meter run in 1983. 

After Liggett, Andrea went to Bates College, where she ran indoor track for three years and played basketball her senior year. She took home several honors for the Women's Indoor Track All-Time Top Ten Performances, including setting a school record in 1984 women's 4x200-meter relay. In 1985, she also set the school records for the 55-meter and the long-jump, with a mark of 18' 7." In 1986, Andrea set records for the 200-meter and 400-meter races and followed that up with another honor in 1987 for the 300-meter run.

On a national level, Andrea competed in the 1986 Division III, National Women's Indoor Track Championship and was an All-American for long jump and the 400-meter race. In the 1987, Andrea ranked 13th in Division III for rebounding. She was also named to the New England Division III Senior All-Star Basketball Game.

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.

Doug Wood, '90
Doug Wood only had three coaches for the 12 sports seasons at Liggett but credits all three of them – David Backhurst (soccer); John Fowler (hockey); and Bob Wood (tennis) – for pushing him to achieve what he would not have without them.
 
After graduating from Liggett, Doug went on to Babson Colleage, where he learned “that just because you were a good high school athlete does not mean anything – when you get to college everyone is good."

Doug made his mark at Liggett. His junior and senior years, he led the varsity soccer team in points and held the school record for assists. He also helped lead the varsity hockey team to a state championship in 1990 and was the top point scorer all for years. He still holds the career point record for Michigan High School hockey. Doug also played in three state tennis championships. 

At Babson, he played varsity hockey and his team make the NCAA Division III tournament three years in a row. The team also won the ECAC Division III hockey title his sophomore year. In 1994, Doug's college team make the final four in the NCAA tournament and he led the team in points and earned the MVP award.

Most recently Doug has coached high school hockey at both Liggett and DeLaSalle.

When Mike Coello attended Liggett, it was simply the enjoyment of playing sports and the camaraderie of his teammates and friends that was important.  It was later that he realized the value of the unique experience of playing sports at Liggett.
 
“Our coaches, for the most part were our teachers.  There was always the balance between athletics and academics that was stressed.  Sports provided an outlet and structure.  Friendships were forged.  The work ethic and concept of teamwork were further developed and ingrained in me and have served me well in college, training and surgery.”

Class of 2012 Inductees

Allen Taber, '80
Allen Taber was an all-star hockey player and was instrumental to the 1980 state championship win. He also played football and baseball.

Art Getz, ’67, GPUS
Art Getz earned letters for varsity football in his sophomore, junior and senior years. He was starting quarterback all three years and was co-captain his senior year. Undefeated his junior year, Getz had single-season and career records for best completion percentage, most touchdown passes and yardage. He played varsity basketball three years and was all suburban and all state senior year with the highest scoring average. He was starting shortstop for the baseball team all for three years as well.

Bob Wood ’59, GPUS
Bob Wood played football, basketball, tennis and baseball beginning in the fourth grade. His high school tennis team was state champions three out of four years and he won state doubles championships with partner George Haggarty as a sophomore, junior and senior. Bob was the athletic director, tennis coach and freshman advisor at Liggett for 37 years. He increased the number of sports at Liggett from 13 to 22. He is also the first and only high school tennis coach in the nation to be inducted into the National Federation of High School’s Hall of Fame. This induction will mark his fourth induction into an athletic hall of fame.

Heather Heidel Petty ’93
Heather was a varsity tennis player for four years. She was captain, MVP and during her time at Liggett the team moved from Class C to Class A for competition purposes. Petty and the team won the state championship all four years. She was recognized in USA Today for her All-American status. She was the MVP for soccer and held the record for most goals for both men and women. She was also MVP for varsity women’s hockey. She received a full tennis scholarship to Kansas University and played for Kansas’ soccer team as well.

Kevin Crociata ’90
Kevin Crociata earned four-year letters for varsity baseball and basketball. He lettered in cross country as a freshman. Crociata was a member of the 1990 Michigan East All-Star Team and was recruited by Stanford, Notre Dame, Yale University and Northwestern for baseball. In basketball he was part of four league championships and was a four-year starting shooting point guard.

Lauren Ealba ’02
Lauren Ealba received all-state, all-region, all-district and all-conference honors for four years of high school play on the varsity soccer team. She was the Liggett soccer captain and MVP for three years. She also received the MVP award from the Metro Conference for two years. Ealba currently holds school records for soccer goals scored in a season (46 in 2000) and soccer goals scored in a career (139 from 1999-2000). She also had all-state, all-region and all-metro honors, and was named a 2002 High School Tennis All-American. She was also all-state and all-region in ice hockey.

Muriel Brock, coach emerita
Muriel Brock coached girls athletics for 36 years at University Liggett School. She founded the Liggett Summer camps and ran them for many years, and these successful camps still run today.


Class of 2013 Inductees

David Rentschler ’52 DUS
Mr. Rentschler was on the varsity baseball, basketball, football and track teams all four years of Upper School. He was president of the Athletic Council and held the Headmasters Scholarship.After graduation he played football for the University of Michigan where he was second string to the great Ron Kramer.

George Perrin ’64 GPUS
Mr. Perrin was on the varsity football, basketball and baseball teams at GPUS. He was the school's starting quarterback for three years, and led the team to break nine school records. He alone set three school records in football. Mr. Perrin was the MVP of the Maumee Valley Invitational Tournament for three years. In basketball, Mr. Perrin set the school record for most points scored in a single game (40 points). He also led the GPUS baseball team his senior year with a .405 batting average.

John Neil Patterson 1906 DUS
Mr. Patterson was a track and field athlete at Detroit University School. Some of his times/marks bettered the winning times in the 1906 Olympics, an event he was not allowed to participate in because of his young age. It wasn’t until 1908 he met the United States age requirement and became at the time the youngest Olympian from the United States. He has held numerous Liggett school records since 1904, and set the still-standing Liggett high jump record in 1906. He held state and national records in the hurdles and is still No. 2 on the Liggett Top Ten high hurdle rankings even though the hurdle height was 42” tall until 1934 and today it is only 36”. He participated in four of DUS’s five consecutive state Class A championship teams. Patterson is the only high school athlete to win an event at the prestigious Penn Relays which today is still the most famous amateur track event in the world.

Laura Khelokian Byron ‘87
Mrs. Byron played varsity field hockey, volleyball, lacrosse and soccer at University Liggett School. She was captain of the field hockey team her junior and senior year, and was named top scorer and MVP in her sophomore year. For volleyball Mr. Byron received honorable mention by MIAC her senior year. She was the leading scorer on the soccer team her freshman and sophomore year, and team captain her senior year. She was also a member of the Liggett athletic council for three years.
Mrs. Byron played varsity field hockey all four years at Dartmouth College. She was team captain her junior and senior year, and held records for most goals in a season and most goals in a career.

Gene Overton, Faculty Emeritus
Mr. Overton worked at University Liggett School for 37 years and during that time he was a tireless supporter of Liggett athletics. In addition to work in the classroom, Gene worked 36 of his 37 years teaching as the scoreboard official for both boys and girls home and away games. He was also a starter for the track team. He also recorded University Liggett School's wrestling meets, basketball and girls softball games. He traveled on numerous occasions with the teams to spring training and games in Florida as well. Mr. Overton has continued to film games event after his retirement and filmed this year's Final Four in Battle Creek and the all-star game.

For his dedication, Mr. Overton was also inducted into the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Hall of Honor in 1994. He was part of the inaugural class for his category.  

Class of 2014 Inductees

George Haggarty, '59 GPUS
Harris Brown, '66 GPUS
Marty Wittmer, '83
Monica Paul Dennis, '92

Class of 2015 Inductees

Jack Foster ’48 DUS
Peter Monroe ’61 GPUS
William Hummel ‘78
Paula Mighion Cornwall ‘84
Shorty McMillian
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Liggett

University Liggett School, a top Metro Detroit private, independent school, is located at 1045 Cook Road Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236 313-884-4444