Title IX at 50: Wroubel Has Championed Girls School Sports from Their Start

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

November 16, 2021

Betty Wroubel began coaching as a middle schooler during the mid-1960s, when she organized, found a sponsor for and coached with a summer softball team that competed against surrounding cities.

She’s coached something every year since – and a whole lot more.

This week she’s leading Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s volleyball team as it chases what would be a fourth MHSAA Finals championship – the Fighting Irish take on Detroit Country Day tonight in a Division 2 Quarterfinal. She’s the third-winningest coach in MHSAA volleyball history, with a record of 1,634-327-132 since beginning her varsity coaching career at alma mater Clawson during the 1978-79 winter season.

But that’s just the start, and Wroubel has been part of Michigan’s girls sports rise and growth since the beginning.

She played basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis and ran track at Clawson before graduating in 1971, a year before Title IX was enacted. She then played volleyball, tennis and field hockey all for multiple seasons at Central Michigan University, graduating in 1975.

Wroubel returned to Clawson and coached basketball, volleyball and softball, then moved on to what was then Pontiac Catholic and later Oakland Catholic, and then Pontiac Notre Dame Prep when that school was formed beginning with the 1994-95 school year.

She’s led Notre Dame Prep’s volleyball team to Finals championships in 2007, 2013 and 2017 and coached Pontiac Catholic to the Class C softball championship in 1983 – the same year she earned her master’s degree from Michigan State University. Wroubel has led teams to a 908-310-41 record on the diamond, ranking among the state’s all-time winningest softball coaches as well.

But again, her coaching contributions – which are incredible – are only part of what Wroubel has given to athletics.

After previously serving as athletic director at Pontiac Catholic, she has served as athletic director at Notre Dame Prep since Fall 1994 and over the years has filled roles as assistant principal and co-chairperson of the health and physical education department, and taught sports medicine and leadership classes. She was named the state’s Athletic Director of the Year in 2020 by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. She also received the MHSAA’s Women In Sports Leadership Award in 2016 and an MHSAA Allen W. Bush Award in 2010 for her behind-the-scenes work in school sports.

Wroubel has received various national Coach of the Year honors, including from the American Volleyball Coaches Association in 2007 and National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association in 2019. She is a member of various Halls of Fame – she’s been inducted by the Detroit Catholic League, Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association, Michigan High School Coaches Association, Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association and the Michigan chapter of the United States Specialty Sports Association.

Second Half's weekly Title IX Celebration posts are sponsored by Michigan Army National Guard.

Previous Title IX at 50 Spotlights

Nov. 9: Pioneer's Joyce Legendary in Michigan, National Swim History - Read
Nov. 2: Royal Oak's Finch Leading Way on Football Field - Read
Oct. 26: Coach Clegg Sets Championship Standard at Grand Blanc - Read
Oct. 19: Rockford Girls Set Pace, Hundreds After Have Continued to Chase - Read
Oct. 12: 
Bedford Volleyball Pioneer Continues Blazing Record-Setting Trail - Read
Oct. 5: 
Warner Paved Way to Legend Status with Record Rounds - Read
Sept. 28: Taylor Kennedy Gymnasts Earn Fame as 1st Champions - Read
Sept. 21: 
Portage Northern Star Byington Becomes Play-by-Play Pioneer - Read
Sept. 14: 
Guerra/Groat Legacy Continues to Serve St. Philip Well - Read
Sept. 7: 
Best-Ever Conversation Must Include Leland's Glass - Read
Aug. 31: We Will Celebrate Many Who Paved the Way - Read

PHOTOS Betty Wroubel confers with her team during the 2017 Class B Volleyball Finals weekend at Kellogg Arena. (MHSAA File Photo.)

Unionville-Sebewaing Softball Ties Finals Record with 5th-Straight Championship

By Tom Kendra
Special for MHSAA.com

June 15, 2024

EAST LANSING – Leave it to standout senior catcher Gabby Crumm to ensure her school’s spot in the state record books.

Unionville-Sebewaing was doing its thing in Saturday’s Division 4 championship game, slowly pulling away from first-time finalist Holton – until Crumm stepped up to the plate in the fourth inning.

Crumm launched one of her signature shots over the centerfield wall, a two-run homer that keyed a six-run inning for the Patriots, who then cruised to an 11-1 victory in six innings at Secchia Stadium.

It was USA’s fifth straight Finals championship, dating back to pre-COVID in 2019, and tying the record for consecutive titles with Kalamazoo Christian, which won five Division 3 titles in a row from 1996 to 2000.

Emma Monette (9) drives a pitch for the Red Devils. “It’s really bittersweet right now,” said Crumm, a four-year starter at catcher who will play at Saginaw Valley State. “USA softball has meant everything to me, and it’s shaped me in so many different ways.

“I’m sad that it’s over, but it couldn’t have ended in a better way.”

USA, which finished 31-11 and was the top-ranked team in Division 4 entering the postseason, showed its experience in the first inning – getting girls on base and putting the pressure on Holton using two hits and two errors to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

The lead would stay that way until the fourth inning, when USA’s tremendous senior class stepped up and put the game away.

Shortstop Ella Neumann ripped a two-run single, which led the Red Devils to change pitchers. Crumm followed up right after Neumann with her long blast over the centerfield wall to effectively put the game out of reach.

“We struggled a little bit in the beginning, but then we cleaned it up,” said 10th-year Holton coach Kirk Younts, whose team did not have an error after the first inning. “They are a great team, and they know how to hit. We tried to mix up our pitching on them, but it just didn’t work.”

Holton (29-13-1), which was playing in its first softball championship game and looking to win the first softball Finals title for a Muskegon County school, managed just three hits against Patriots sophomore Olivia Greene.

Erin Jubar (6) rounds third base while Holton’s infielders await a throw.Greene fooled the Red Devils all game with her rise ball, striking out 10.

Greene also showed her skills at the plate, ending the game with a shot to right-centerfield which actually hit the top of the fence and bounced back into play. Even though it wasn’t a home run, it scored senior Jenna Gremel to give the Patriots a 10-run lead and clinch the title.

Gremel, who with Crumm was a four-year varsity player and four-time champion, finished with two RBIs. Senior leadoff hitter Rylie Benson was 2-for-3, and Neumann had two hits and two RBIs.

USA coach Marc Reinhardt, who finished his second season as head coach but has been around the program for many years, said it never gets old winning a state championship.

“No, it’s always a thrill,” said Reinhardt, who is assisted by Matt Prime, Tommy Betson and Bree Gordon. “I am so glad that this particular group of seniors was able to go out on top. There will be other talented players coming in, but this was a very special group.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) USA teammates welcome Gabriella Crumm (1) after her home run Saturday at Secchia Stadium. (Middle) Emma Monette (9) drives a pitch for the Red Devils. (Below) Erin Jubar (6) rounds third base while Holton’s infielders await a throw.