#TBT: Brown Completes Diving 3-Peat

November 13, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

East Grand Rapids divers won seven championships and placed a number of others during the first 42 years of MHSAA Finals in the sport. The school will once again host one of nine Lower Peninsula Diving Regionals taking place this afternoon.  

Few in MHSAA history have come close to equaling the accomplishments of the Pioneers’ best, three-time champion Randi Brown.

The 2010 graduate claimed her third championship the previous fall with a Lower Peninsula Division 3 record score of 484.35 – the second-highest in MHSAA Finals history counting all divisions. She won that day, Nov. 21, 2009, at Eastern Michigan University, by 63.6 points.  

Brown also won LP Division 3 in 2007 with a score of 414.15 (5.1 ahead of the field) and in 2008 with 454.85 points and by 10.4. As a freshman, in the final season of girls swimming and diving split into two Lower Peninsula divisions instead of three, she finished 13th in Division 2 with a score of 339.40 – as teammate Chelsea Oates claimed the title.

Brown went on the dive at Princeton University, helping the Tigers to two Ivy League championships while finishing as high as third individually at the league's finals. She was one of two members of her team this spring to receive Princeton’s Class of 1916 Cup, which is awarded “to the varsity letterwinner who, continuing in competition in his or her senior year, achieved at graduation the highest academic standing.”

The only diver to score higher at an MHSAA Final than Brown was Albion’s Elyse Lee in 2003, with 489.55 points. Lee went on to dive for the University of Michigan. 

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.