Tom Buursma
Holland Christian
Ian Frost
Warren Mott
Ed Krupa
Flint Northern
Don Wisswell
St. Clair

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

Tom Buursma, Holland Christian

When Tom Buursma achieved the pinnacle of high school tennis coaching success, the state title, back in 1993, he was described by the Holland Sentinel as being "up in the clouds." As Tom said at the time, "ItÕs really kind of hard to explain. IÕm really excited, but IÕm kind of humbled at the same time. There are coaches who do this for 25 or 30 years who never get to experience something like thisÉbut I did."

The same can be said of TomÕs latest achievement, induction into the Hall of Fame. In fact, only 52 coaches have been installed before this yearÕs ceremony and amazingly, no fewer than four have come from the Holland area, a veritable cradle of Hall of Fame coaches. Indeed, Tom begin playing the game under a summer program in his native Holland under Joe Moran, inductee in the associationÕs very first class back in 1986. He went on to play for his alma mater, Holland Christian in the late 5Os and early 60s.

Once Tom returned to Holland Christian as a teacher and coach, his girlsÕ teams continued the tradition. Over 25 years, they amassed an impressive dual meet record of over 200 wins, captured 15 regional titles, finished in the top 10 of the state tournament no fewer than 14 times, placed as high as 4th place twice, and of course, won it all in 1993. Throughout this time period, he labored faithfully for the boysÕ teams at Christian as well, assisting Ron Pothoven in the spring for 15 years while compiling a JV record of over 100 wins. It is an amazing testament to the strength a program when its assistant boys coach becomes a Hall of Famer.

However, Tom has done more than merely reap the benefits of a community steeped in tennis tradition. He has contributed significantly to its reputation by utilizing HollandÕs considerable tennis facilities to host tournaments noted for their quality and efficiency. While others have dedicated time and effort in sponsoring MHSAA regional tournaments (Tom has managed 10), and Saturday tournaments (he has hosted 8 Saturday invitationals), Tom has also been a state tournament manager once and was an assistant state tournament manager 6 times, a monumental achievement. He has gained such respect among his peers that he was chosen regional coach of the year 11 times and state coach of the year in 1983.

With over 200 career wins, 15 regional titles, a state championship under his belt, and a voluminous record of service to Michigan high school tennis to his credit, there is but one crown left for this gentleman: to take his rightful place next to his colleagues in Holland and those throughout the state whose portraits grace the wall of the MHSTeCA Hall of Fame at the Midland Community Tennis Center. ol I

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Ian Frost, Waren Mott

The 1978 entry for Boys Tennis in the Warren Mott yearbook begins: "It may get a little boring but a yearbook staff still has to report fact. So we must again start off by reporting that MottÕs tennis team won another conference title last year." Actually, in the 70s, Ian FrostÕs kids won 7 Warren League titles in a row and 8 in the 12 years that he coached the Marauders. His conference dual meet record was an astounding 89-9 (91%) and his overall tally, which purposely consisted of much stiffer competition, was a very respectable 133Ñ51 (72%).

A native of Trenton who knew but did not play for their legendary tennis coach, Tony Malinowski, Ian spent 10 years teaching in the North (Bear Lake and Harper Creek) before being recruited to help open a "new" high school in Warren in 1965. A science and math teacher, he had previously coached JV basketball without pay but had never played tennis. It took a year of cajoling from his principal (I need somebody to coach tennis; I just know you can coach tennis; why donÕt you try it for a year) before Ian finally agreed to embark, in 1967, on what became an enormously successful career.

Ian credits, in those early years, one particular player who had summer experience at Jean HoxieÕs tennis camp in Hamtramck with teaching fundamentals and drills to both the team and to him. As a result, he instituted a challenge ladder, never cut a kid, and saw to it that everyone (as many as 80 players came out for tennis by the end of the 70s) had at least one competitive interscholastic experience per season. He pioneered spring trips to Tennessee and Kentucky during spring break the last four years of his tenure. All of this was accomplished on four rough cement courts behind the high school, courts that have since been replaced.

During this time, Ian was so respected that he was drafted to help organize the trail-breaking movement to alter the state tournament format from an individual championship to a flight setup, a change that has met, over the years, with almost universal approval. In the mid 70s, he could often be found, together with six other coaches and MHSAA director Warren McKenzie, in East Lansing advising and taking part in what turned out to be history-making votes.

However, with a history of heart ailments in his family, Ian experienced chest pains in 1981 that led to a cathaterization and later, by-pass surgery. He had wisely quit coaching two years before ("I realized that I was rolling the dice") and although he taught for 10 more years at Mott, he left the team in some very capable hands. It is to his credit that the team that won the league championship the year he stepped down also won the title for his replacement in that following spring. It is to the credit of the H of F selection committee that it has placed this highly respected individual alongside his contemporaries and peers in the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame.

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Ed Krupa, Flint Northern

The ranks of the MHSTeCA Hall of Fame are filled with former football and basketball coaches who were recruited by athletic directors to fill a coaching void, who caught fire with a love for the game1 and who employed their skills and experience as coaches of the "major" sports to produce strong teams for many years. Such is the of Ed krupa of Flint Northern, who guided the tennis players of his high school alma mater to 26 years of success. From 1960 to 1986, when Ed retired, Northern tennis teams1 located in an area not normally noted for tennis success, had captured over 200 victories (220 to be exact) as against 125 losses.

A major reason for Flint NorthernÕs tennis achievement is that Ed, as the schoolÕs football and basketball coach, used his considerable influence to recruit the best athletes to play for him in the spring. These were kids who werenÕt necessarily skilled players but who were, instead, gifted natural athletes and fierce competitors who took the self-discipline of their fall and winter team sports onto the courts of spring. In addition, Ed promoted a summer recreation program for live years that grew to such an extent that it ultimately encompassed over 1200 kids, 8 instructors, and 16 centers in the Saginaw Valley area. In fact, Dennis Margoni, who went on to prominence as the head professional at the Midland Community Tennis Center and director of numerous Class A State Tournaments at that site, was one of EdÕs instructors. Long before current indoor programs at racquet clubs, he had his kids hitting across a net at the schoolÕs gym during the winter months. The result was a "creditable" (his word) team year after year which didnÕt necessarily win championships but was a force to be reckoned with, especially when it encountered archrival Flint Central, a team which Northern hadnÕt defeated for 25 years until Ed took over.

A gifted baseball and basketball player, Ed was also an all-state running back for his high school alma mater who was recruited by Michigan, Michigan State, and North Carolina before opting to accept a scholarship at Notre Dame. He played there for two years (1942 and 1943) before joining the Marine Corps to help fight World War II. He was among the third wave on Iwo Jima, an undoubtedly awesome experience (he notes that there were no tennis courts on the island). Returning to finish his degree in 1947, he taught at Flint St. Matthew for six years before taking the football and basketball job at Northern where he proceeded to establish an ethic of hard work and excellence.

Although retired since 1986, Ed maintains an active interest in tennis in the Lake Fenton area. He can be seen on the courts of that area, in particular as he watches his children develop and play in the local tournaments. His children and grandchildren, as well as hundreds of his former players can return the favor as they watch him take his place among MichiganÕs most influential tennis coaches.

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Don Wissell, Mt. Clemens

When Don Wisswell first picked up a tennis racquet back in 1960, it was under the tutelage of then second year coach Ron Stablein of St. Clair High School who himself, to went on to an illustrious 30 year, 400 pIus win career that culminated with induction in to the Hall of Fame in 1993. What must be most satisfying for Ron is seeing his former pupil achieve similar results. Over the past 21 years, DonÕs Mt. Clemens captured over 300 dual meet victories.

Because Don himself started playing tennis in a Mt. Clemens summer recreation program, it is no surprise that the linchpin of the schoolÕs success has been the vacation time that he has spent with kids who grew up swinging a racket on the courts in the same community where he had spent his youth. He has directed the summer program at his high school for the past sixteen years, the first 11 for which he was not paid. As a local newspaper noted at the time, "Don runs an eight week program in the summer with no remuneration; however, his altruism has paid him back with big dividends in winning clubs, grateful parents, and fine players."

Indeed, the record supports this. Over 20 years of coaching boys and 19 years with the girls program, DonÕs teams have compiled not only over 300 wins but 8 regional titles and 9 second-place finishes (Translate: 9 additional trips to the state tournament). This makes 17 memorable journeys to the state finals for kids who were also declared "County Team of the Year" 6 times.

However, the rewards go beyond praise from and of his players. DonÕs colleagues have voted him regional coach of the year 18 times (8 for boys and 10 for girls seasons) and league coach of the year 3 times. He was voted County Coach of the Year for both boys and girls season in 1988 and was the MHSTeCA state coach of the year in 1983.

No stranger to coaching honors, Don is also no stranger to our clinics and, for that matter, to service for Michigan high school tennis. He has hosted 27 regional tournaments, a monumental effort. He was a co-founder of the Macomb County Coaches Association and is its current president. As a director of a section of Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association, he has been notably active in recruiting members, initiating ideas (the Detroit News all-state pictorial is an excellent example), and dispensing useful information.

Clearly both a leader and an innovator, Don is widely known as hard-working and aggressive. In the past, he has presented hall of fame awards at gatherings such as these. It is now time for him to be on the receiving end of a Hall of Fame induction.

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