McCullen Reaches 500-Win Milestone Leading DeWitt's Girls 'Basketball Family'

February 17, 2023

Bill McCullen is in the midst of his 27th season coaching at DeWitt, taking the helm of a girls basketball program in 1996 that had struggled with a 28-37 record (14-22 in league play) over its three previous seasons. 

Mid-MichiganReaching 500 wins is an incredible achievement, as only 14 other girls basketball coaches have done so in the state of Michigan. He led the Panthers to that 500th win Thursday against East Lansing, and after the 61-40 victory he sits sixth among active coaches on the MHSAA girls basketball coaching wins list.

The Panthers currently sit 17-2. McCullen has posted a 242-38 league record (.864 winning percentage) with 19 league championships as DeWitt eyes a rematch with Capital Area Activities Conference Blue leader Holt coming up Tuesday. The Panthers also have won nine District and five Regional championships and reached the MHSAA Semifinals four times and finished Class A runner-up in 2014-15.

Before COVID-19, he had averaged 19 wins per season (to just 3.96 losses) in a sport that had a 20-game regular season before this winter. McCullen reached his 100th win in just five seasons, averaging an incredible 20 wins over that early span. DeWitt has posted 10 20-win seasons in the program’s history; McCullen is responsible for nine of them.

The expectations of McCullen’s student-athletes are just as high in the classroom. During his first 26 seasons, the Panthers have averaged a team GPA of 3.52, earning the state’s top honor three times. McCullen has seen 28 of his student-athletes earn academic all-state recognition.

McCullen has dedicated 30 years as an educator, teaching social studies classes at DeWitt High School for the last 29. Above all the wins, McCullen is an exemplary role model for coaches, players, and parents. His behavior on the sidelines and how he talks to officials and players exemplifies what is expected of coaches.

He has taken teaching and coaching beyond the classroom and hardwood and has created a “basketball family” within his program. McCullen is quick to give credit to his assistant coaches (Sam Dalman, Annie Jenkins, and Marcy Uyl) and longtime friend Scott Palmer, who served as his varsity assistant for two years and JV head coach for another 24. The support of his wife (Denise) and two grown sons (Carter and Jerod) are paramount to McCullen’s success and passion for teaching and coaching. 

Perhaps his greatest influence was Jim Lutzke. Then DeWitt’s director of human resources and athletic director, Lutzke hired McCullen in 1994 as a teacher and to coach tennis. Lutzke mentored McCullen for five years before succumbing to cancer in 1999. That relationship has had a profound and lasting impact on McCullen as a husband, father, teacher, and coach.

PHOTO DeWitt girls basketball coach Bill McCullen talks things over with Gabbie Brya during a game. (Photo by TCP Photography.) 

St. George's Senior Season Filled with Historic Trip, Sizzling 3-Point Shooting

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

May 21, 2024

Delaney St. George helped Kingston reach its first MHSAA Girls Basketball Final this winter – and along the way finished her high school career among the most prolific 3-point shooters in state history.

The four-year varsity senior made 87 3-pointers this season for the Division 4 runner-up Cardinals, good to tie for 10th on the single-season list after she made 93 as a junior to rank fourth all-time.

She finished her Kingston career with 290 3-pointers in 793 attempts over 94 games – good for second on the career 3-pointers list.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA girls basketball record book, and click on the heading to see the record book in full.

Girls Basketball

Hemlock’s 18-6 run this season was fueled in part by more successful 3-point shooting. The Huskies made single-season lists with 170 3-pointers and 552 attempts, and also for making 14 3-pointers Jan. 5 against St. Louis.

Senior Mia McLaughlin made nine of 15 3-point shots for Frankenmuth in a Feb. 6 win over Birch Run as the Eagles made the team record book list with 15 3-pointers total. They also were added for 14 3-pointers in a Feb. 20 win over Bay City John Glenn. McLaughlin will continue her career at Ferris State.

McBain sophomore Peyton Grant scored all 27 of her points Jan. 17 against Houghton Lake on nine 3-pointers to make the single-game list in that category.

Seniors Autumn Tremblay and Ceara LeBlanc earned Brimley’s first girls basketball record book listings this season. Both made single-game lists in a Feb. 27 win over Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian – Tremblay scored 21 points during the first quarter and LeBlanc had 16 steals for the game – and LeBlanc also was added for 141 steals total over 25 games this past winter.

Reed City’s run at the Central State Activities Association title this winter was fueled in part by 3-point shooting. The Coyotes finished one game out of first, but made the records with 517 3-point attempts over 24 games – and just missed the made 3-pointers list connecting on 143.

Howell sophomore Gabrielle Piepho added her third record book listing over her first two seasons this winter making 89.2 percent of her free throw attempts to rank eighth on that single-season list. Howell as a team also made the 3-point attempts list with 536 over 25 games, and also just missed the 3-pointers made list with 146.

Saline finished the 2023-24 season among the all-time leading 3-point shooters again, this time with 192 – 14th-most for one season – in 587 attempts over 24 games. Sophomore Keira Roehm led the way with 78 3-pointers, tying for 21st on that list.

Junior Tamerah Peterson led Sterling Heights Parkway Christian to a District title this season, providing a record-setting defensive boost in addition to her offensive skills. She finished with 173 steals – eighth-most for one season – over 21 games.

Niles Brandywine reached Breslin Center this season with another stellar distance shooting display, making the record book with both 186 3-pointers and 610 attempts from beyond the arc in finishing Division 3 runner-up.

Alie Bisballe capped her career at Lake City this winter by helping her team reach the Division 3 Semifinal at Breslin Center – and by reaching the MHSAA girls basketball record book in two categories. The 6-foot-4 post player made the lists with 329 rebounds and 188 blocked shots, both in 28 games as Lake City finished 25-3. She will continue her career at Wisconsin.

Ironwood junior Hanna Vaughn will enter her final season next winter already on the career 3-pointers list. She’s made 155 3-pointers over her first three seasons and 70 games on varsity.

PHOTO Kingston’s Delaney St. George (10) pulls up for a shot during the Division 4 Final against Ishpeming.