Donald Brown
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook

Dennis Kiley

Earl Kimber
University Liggett
Sandra Peterson
Portage Northern
Stephanie Prychitko
Grosse Pointe South

(click on Inductee's name to read 'description')

Donald Brown, Bloomfiled Hills Cranbrook

The Cranbrook tennis program has witnessed tremendous success since the arrival of Don Brown on the scene in 1972, having gained nine Class B state titles during the past 16 years under Don's tutelage.

The first impression one may get in meeting Don Brown is that of his being dapper, suave and sophisticated, which is certainly an accurate assessment. However, in really getting to know him, one also realizes that there is true sincerity, determination, refineness and warmth in his personality. This is obviously apparent in his dealing with his players who have always acted as gentlemen both on and off the court.

Don's accomplishments through the years in tennis are truly legion. An all-city tennis player, trackster and football player at Detroit Denby High School, a graduate of Wayne State University, squash player, participant on ~he USPTA Midwest Team in 1962 and 1963, a fulltime professional and physical education instructor at Brookside Elementary School at Cranbrook are all included in Dons vita. In 1976 he was honored by his colleagues as the Tennis Professional of the Year in Michigan, being awarded the highly coveted plaque in Chicago by the USPTA.

Having won their seventh state title in eight year this past spring, his netters have also copped 14 regional crowns, six runner-up trophies and one fifth place. This includes a solid 17929 dual match record. Interestingly, the year prior to his taking over the reins, Cranbrook has a poor 4-11 mark. Certainly, Brown's coaching has been very influential.

At the Brookside Elementary School Don has a unique job which entails an after school Tennis and Fitness Class which he has developed. It has helped both sister school Kingswood and Cranbrook in germinating increased tennis interest and skills throughout the community. Children beginning in the first grade are taught basics and for those who wish to continue pay a fee for further instruction. This obviously pays off for those playing later in the high school program.

Brown was given the Class B Coach of the Year award in 1982 by the his MHSTeCA peers, and last year the national NFSHSA granted his its Outstanding Coach Award.

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Dennis Kiley, Jackson

Dennis Kiley epitomizes the grass roots coach who moved into a community where the sport of tennis was almost nonexistent and became Mr. Tennis of Jackson. He literally created the interest in tennis in that city.

After serving in the army during World War II and completing college at EMU, Dennis arrived in Jackson in 1950 where he was given the duties to coach the football, basketball and tennis teams for the Vikings. Eventually, he became the major force of the summer programs in the community, organizing tournaments, running clinics, and encouraging inter-city play. The Annual Sidmore Memorial Tournament was Dennis creation dating back to 1953. He ran the recreation departments summer program for twelve years and organized players into groups which visited the Southern Michigan Prison on a regular basis in order to have competition with the inmates. One young player who enjoyed this was Ed Waits, one of Dennis proteges.

During these years of tennis involvement, Kiley gradually built his high school teams into championship caliber. From 1950 through 1963 while at Jackson High, his netters comprised a formidable record of 108-33 in the old 6-A League which included strong teams from Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo. When he moved over to the new Jackson Parkside H.S. where he served as both the tennis coach and the athletic director, his teams garnered a respectable 128 wins against 88 losses from 1964 to 1978. Included in all of this were five regional championships. While he was the athletic director at Parkside, he directed numerous regional tournaments in many sports including his first love, tennis. He was also called on to serve on the MHSAA Tennis Committee in Lansing.

For his many years of devoted service to high school athletics both on the court and administratively, Dennis Kiley was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame at the Silverdome in 1985. His 28 years of service to tennis put Jackson, heretofore primarily a golf town, on the map.

This past spring he retired from his athletic director job after giving Jackson 37 years of inspirational leadership. He will always be fondly remembered by scores of his former players because of his dedication to them.

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Earl Kimber, Grosse Pointe Univsersity Liggett

Earl Kimber could be best portrayed as a beloved coach in a private school, having served at that institution seemingly forever, who had shepherded generations of young people through some of their fondest experiences.

Earl was the head coach of football, basketball and tennis at Detroit University School (the name was changed in 1945 to Grosse Pointe University School and then later to its present name) . At one point, this energetic man taught five sections of history, performed the duties of the athletic director, and was head coach of three sports. He initiated the tennis program at what has become the most successful program in our state's history.

Coach Kimber always considered it a breath of fresh air to coach the one-on-one sport of tennis where good grooming and good manners were emphasized. However, during his 25 years of coaching from 1930 to 1955, he did more than to turn out just well behaved athletes. His teams won 155 matches and lost 65, captured 13 regional titles, and gained the Class C-D championship six different years.

Earl's main desire was to instill self respect and a strong determination to win in his players. He trained his boys as if on a track team, developing strong legs along with the arms. In the last set of a long tournament day, his players generally emerged victorious because of their superb conditioning. Without doubt this involved the traditional selfdiscipline and good concentration on the court.

In his retirement in St. Paul, NE, where his son's family lives, Earl has many fond memories of his wonderful duals with the Hoxie coached Hamtramck teams, whom Earl was able to beat twice. But what really mattered was the great competition they always had with the Hoxie teams. Earl also gladly remembers that Hamtramck was always in the Class A state championships and that the University School was always in the C-D championships.

He reminisced playing their different state finals at the University of Michigan courts, at the Western Michigan University courts, and later at the excellent Stowe Stadium courts. No one ever ran a tournament better than Dr. Stowe, writes Earl.

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Sandra Peterson, Portage Northern

The Portage Northern Huskies girls tennis teams had been favored for twenty years by the coaching and strong direction of Sandy Peterson from 1966 through 1985. Her leadership had provided Northerns opponents some of the best competition in the state with some of the finest girls players in the state as well as the best disciplined. Her teams always were a complimentary reflection of her comA petitive and fair nature.

Petersons opening speeches before dual meets were models of good will, indicative of her spirit and desire of fair play with the best possible effort of the girls. She was so universally recognized as a coach's coach by her peers that she was honored as the MHSTeCA's girls Coach of the Year in both 1977 and 1982. Likewise, Sandy was highly regarded for her cool head, calm demeanor, and impeccable integrity while serving on the state seeding committee during its formative years, an assignment which always has demanded the best of any individual.

Our Hall of Famer does not hesitate to clearly credit her community of Portage and the individual efforts of her girls year in and year out. She always considered it a rare privilege and honor to have been associated with such a fine group of girls each year of her coaching. As a result of this mutual respect, the Northern teams under Sandy compiled an admirable record of 187 wins and only 27 dual match losses. Included in her fine record were ten regional crowns and two Class A championships shared with the fine Grosse Pointe South teams in 1977 and 1978.

Coach Peterson had consistently shown shown herself involved in our tennis association from the very beginning. She had served on the Board of Directors for several years, had been a vice-president for two years, and sat on the Tennis Rules Committee for the MHSAA. She was always a familiar face at our yearly tennis clinics and our semiannual meetings where we gained such a fond affection for her and her gracious style.

Sandy still remains as the Associate Athletic Director at Portage Northern, a position she has held since 1982.

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Stephanie Prychitko, Grosse Pointe South

Without doubt when we consider some of the top names in Michigan high school tennis, everyone would immediately mention Stephanie Prychitko, who has established a phenomenal record of eleven consecutive Class A state titles with her Grosse Pointe South girls teams, enough alone to place her into our Hall of Fame for the state of Michigan.

High honors are not foreign to this lady of many successes. She is one of three Michigan tennis coaches to be voted the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year, her's coming in 1984. Bob Wood of University Liggett received his award in 1981, and Harley Pierce of Sturgis gained his in 1979. In addition, Prychitko was named the MHSTeCA Coach of the Year in both 1979 and 1982 for the girls as well as the Detroit News All-Metro High School Coach of the Year in 1976. In fact, tonight's induction is not her first Hall of Fame honor. Her alma mater, Western Michigan University, inducted her as the first woman into its Hall of Fame in 1984, and the following year she was inducted into the Hamtramck High School Hall of Honor as well as the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame. What a testimony!

Stephanies record speaks for itself: 16 league titles, 15 regional championships, a great 273-28 winloss record, and her 11 state crowns. She is a legend in her own time.

Prychitko cannot be considered a neophyte with her 36 years of coaching tennis. She had girls tennis teams long before Title IX was even dreamed of when her squads battled against Liggett, Kingswood and other Detroit-area teams. Going Back to her days in the Hamtramck school system, Stephanie gained her initial interest in tennis under the invaluable teaching of Hean and Jerry Hoxie, something that she will never forget. And now in the tennis-oriented community of Grosse Pointe, she is a natural for the tremendous spirit and enthusiasm placed on team tennis.

Stephanie is not able to express enough appreciation for her schools administration, her parents and the club professionals in assisting her in developing her girls talents and desire to win. Quoting Stephanie, "I am extremely fortunate to be in such a position at Grosse Pointe South High".

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