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Lofton Greene, Joe Todey Named 1998 Forsythe Award Recipients

 Lofton Greene  Joe Todey

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Feb. 20 - Michigan's all-time winningest boys basketball coach and an administrator with over 30 years of service to educational athletics have been selected to receive the 1998 Charles Forsythe Award by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

Lofton C. Greene, who coached 12 MHSAA Class B boys basketball championship teams at River Rouge High School; and Joseph J. Todey, a coach and athletic director since 1966 at Essexviille Garber High School; are the recipients of this year's award.

This annual award is in its 21st year of existence and is named after Charles E. Forsythe, who served as executive director of the MHSAA from 1931 to 1968. One or two recipients are selected each year by the MHSAA Representative Council, and is based on an individual's outstanding contribution to the interscholastic athletics community. Greene and Todey will be presented the award on March 28 at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing at halftime of the Boys Basketball Class A Final Game.

Greene coached basketball for 41 years at River Rouge, leading his teams to more MHSAA championship games and titles than any other coach in the history of the game in this state. Between 1949 and 1976, the Panthers appeared in the MHSAA Class B finale 17 times and took top honors on 12 occasions. Included was a five-year winning streak from 1961-65, a feat exceeded by only one other team in the history of the tournament (Crystal Falls won six consecutive titles from 1938-42 and 1944 - No tournament was played in 1943), and the final victory came in 1972, a heart-stopping 65-64 decision over Muskegon Heights in Jenison Field House, with the Panthers rallying from a seven-point deficit with just over 40 seconds to play in a comeback still regarded as the most dramatic ever in the Finals.

Greene's varsity coaching record was 739-231 when he stepped down at River Rouge after the 1983-84 season. He also served as athletic director and director of physical education while at River Rouge. At 79, he still remains active in the game of basketball as a sub-varsity coach in the metropolitan Detroit area.

Inducted into several organization's Halls of Fame, Greene is one of two Michigan inductees to the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame, being enshrined in 1986. In addition to his athletic achievements, Greene served as chair of the River Rouge Library Board of Trustees for 30 years; as secretary of the River Rouge Days Committee for 15 years; is a charter member of the Optimists Club of River Rouge, and as a board member of the First United Methodist Church in Dearborn and the River Rouge Epworth United Methodist Church.

For the past 22 years, Todey has served as the athletic director for Essexville Hampton Schools, where he has also served as a teacher and coach since 1966. His coaching career included 12 seasons in football, four years in basketball and five years in track. He was also an MHSAA Registered Official for eight years in football and basketball.

Todey has been recognized as a leader for his contributions to educational athletics on the local, statewide and national levels. At Essexville, he oversees 17 high school and five junior high/middle school sports; and has been a tournament host for numerous MHSAA events, in additional to serving on various Association committees. He created the "Women in Sports Week" at Garber High School, and has served on the organizing committee for the Bay City Times Classic Track Meet since its inception.

Todey has also been active on the state scene with the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, where he has served as a board member and president. He is the recipient of Dedicated Service Awards from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and the MIAAA.

He is also active in the community with St. Luke's United Methodist Church; the Essexville-Hampton Lions Club; and is a lifesaving instructor with the local Red Cross.

Other recipients of the Charles E. Forsythe Award have been:
1978 - Brick Fowler, Port Huron; Paul Smarks, Warren
1979 - Earl Messner, Reed City; Howard Beatty, Saginaw
1980 - Max Carey, Freesoil
1981 - Steven Sluka, Grand Haven; Samuel Madden, Detroit
1982 - Ernest Buckholz, Mt. Clemens; T. Arthur Treloar, Petoskey
1983 - Leroy Dues, Detroit; Richard Maher, Sturgis
1984 - William Hart, Marquette; Donald Stamats, Caro
1985 - John Cotton, Farmington; Robert James, Warren
1986 - William Robinson, Detroit; Irving Soderland, Norway
1987 - Jack Streidl, Plainwell; Wayne Hellenga, Decatur
1988 - Jack Johnson, Dearborn; Alan Williams, North Adams
1989 - Walter Bazylewicz, Berkley; Dennis Kiley, Jackson
1990 - Webster Morrison, Pickford; Herbert Quade, Benton Harbor
1991 - Clifford Buckmaster, Petoskey; Donald Domke, Northville
1992 - William Maskill, Kalamazoo; Thomas G. McShannock, Muskegon
1993 - Roy A. Allen Jr., Detroit; John Duncan, Cedarville
1994 - Kermit Ambrose, Royal Oak
1995 - Bob Perry, Lowell
1996 - Charles H. Jones, Royal Oak
1997 - Michael A. Foster, Richland; Robert G. Grimes, Battle Creek
1998 - Lofton C. Greene, River Rouge; Joseph J. Todey, Essexviille