3-Time Finals Champ Cherishes Memories, Considering Golf Future

By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com

August 3, 2022

Golf has been a major part of Katy Nightwine’s past – and it could be a big part of her future.

But at the present time, there’s something more important to tend to that’s putting golf on the backburner.

Close to three decades after making history as a golfer at Ann Arbor Pioneer, much of Nightwine’s time and energy these days is as a stay-at-home mom raising her 2-year-old son Henry with her husband Bryan.

But even while doing that, it’s hard to get golf completely out of her mind, as she’s already trying to plant a seed with her son.

“He enjoys putting the ball on the tee,” Nightwine said. “We’re happy with that progress.”

If the little guy starts fully getting into the game, he’ll be hard-pressed to find a better mentor than his mother.

Katy NightwineNearly 30 years ago Nightwine, then Katy Loy, made history by becoming the first to win three straight MHSAA Girls Golf Finals individual titles in the highest classification/division when she claimed three consecutive crowns in Lower Peninsula Class A.

Nightwine said she grew up on a golf course in Dexter (now closed), which is where she learned the game and grew a passion for it.

“I liked going to golf more than I liked going to swim practice,” she said. “It became that thing I did with my dad after work. The weekends would be spent golfing, and that became my favorite place to be.”

Nightwine won the Class A title in 1993 as a sophomore, and then repeated as a junior in 1994.

She remembers going into her senior year with a lot of people talking about whether she could make it three in a row, but it didn’t put any more pressure on her than she’d already put on herself.

“If I didn’t get it then, that was going to be the blemish,” Nightwine said. “It had so much more meaning than it being the third time, but let’s cap it off and really give me something to remember.”

In her words, it “wasn’t looking so good,” for Nightwine on the front nine during the last round of the Final in 1995, but she turned it around on the back nine at Michigan State’s Forest Akers West to claim her third-straight title.

From there, Nightwine went on to the University of Michigan and was named Freshman of the Year in the Big Ten in 1996.

Due to a desire to play in warmer weather and more prestigious tournaments, Nightwine transferred after her freshman year to the University of Kentucky, where she finished out her collegiate career.

Nightwine turned professional after college and played in a futures tour, but a back injury ultimately led her to quit playing professionally.

Katy NightwineShe worked as a golf instructor here and there. But in 2008, Nightwine started focusing on what she said was her other passion: Baking.

She opened up a pastry shop in Ann Arbor and continued in that business for 10 years before her family decided in 2018 to sell the property where the bakery was located to a company that repurposed it.

Now, Nightwine is fully entrenched in the business of being a mom and raising her son, but is hoping for a golfing revival in the future.

When her son gets older, she’s thinking about getting back into golf instruction or doing something else in the industry.

If nothing else, she wants to at least get back to playing consistently again.

“To see where my swing is at and go from there,” she said.

Regardless of what the future holds in the sport, Nightwine will always own a piece of state golf history, something she cherishes to this day.

“I will always be involved with golf, especially if (my son) takes a liking to it,” she said. “I have such fond memories of people I met.”

2021-22 Made in Michigan

Aug. 1: Lessons Learned on Track Have Jibowu's Business Surging to Quick Success - Read
July 28: 
Running Set Life's Stage for Grosse Pointe South's Record-Setting Meier Sisters - Read
July 25: 
2005 Miss Basketball DeHaan Cherishing Newest Title: 1st-Time Mom - Read
July 21: 
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July 14:
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July 12: Coaching Couple Passing On Knowledge, Providing Opportunities for Frankfort Wrestlers - Read
June 30: Hrynewich's Star Continuing to Rise with Olympic, Pro Sports Arrivals - Read

PHOTOS (Top) At left, Katy Loy watches a drive during the 1994 Lower Peninsula Girls Golf Final. At right, Loy, now Nightwine, with her husband Bryan. (Middle) Katy Nightwine takes a swing at the driving range. (Below) Katy and Bryan Nightwine. (1994 Finals photo courtesy of Ann Arbor News/MLive; current photos courtesy of Katy Nightwine.) 

3 Receive National Honors from NHSACA, Coaching Pair Named to Hall of Fame

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

July 11, 2024

One of the longest-serving members of the MHSAA Representative Council and two longtime Michigan high school coaches have received highest honors this summer from the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.

Brighton athletic director John Thompson was named Athletic Director of the Year during the NHSACA’s annual conference June 26 in Bismarck, N.D. He has supervised the Bulldogs’ highly-accomplished athletic program for two decades and served on the Representative Council the last 14 years, including currently as vice president.

Thompson also this year received the Thomas Rashid Athletic Director of the Year Award from the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA). Brighton was selected as an MIAAA exemplary athletic program in 2015 and as an ESPN unified champion school in 2018, the latter recognizing its statewide leadership in cultivating unified sport opportunities.

Additionally, Farmington Hills Mercy girls golf coach Vicky Kowalski and Livonia Stevenson girls swimming & diving coach Greg Phil were named NHSACA National Coach of the Year in their respective sports.

Kowalski completed her 46th season coaching Mercy last fall by leading the program to its second-straight Lower Peninsula Division 2 championship and fourth MHSAA Finals title overall. She also in January was named the 2022-23 National Coach of the Year in her sport by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association. She was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Association (MHSCA) Hall of Fame this year for both golf and bowling.

Phil has coached girls swimming & diving since 1976, including at Stevenson since 1985. After winning the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East title, the most recent of several league championships under his leadership, Stevenson finished 16th at last season’s Lower Peninsula Division 1 Finals and previously had placed Finals runner-up twice. Phil was named to the MHSCA Hall of Fame in 2012.

All three honorees were nominated for the national recognition by the MHSCA. Beal City baseball coach Brad Antcliff, now-retired Leland volleyball coach Laurie Glass, Ann Arbor Greenhills boys tennis coach Eric Gajar and Lowell wrestling coach R.J. Boudro also were National Coach of the Year finalists.

Additionally, longtime softball coaches Kay Johnson of Morenci and Kris Hubbard from Ottawa Lake Whiteford were inducted into the NHSACA Hall of Fame. Johnson went over 1,000 career wins this spring and has led her program since 1993, including to Class C championships in 1985 and 1986. Hubbard retired after the 2019 season with an 865-380-3 record since taking over in 1974, with Class D titles in 1984, 1985 and 1987.