Chrisinske, Inglis Receive Bush Awards

June 5, 2013

Two athletic administrators respected as mentors and role models in their respective regions and throughout the state – Dave Chrisinske of Middleville Thornapple Kellogg and Cody Inglis of Traverse City Central – have been named the recipients of the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Allen W. Bush Award for 2013.

Al Bush served as executive director of the MHSAA for 10 years. The award honors individuals for past and continuing service to prep athletics as a coach, administrator, official, trainer, doctor or member of the media. The award was developed to bring recognition to men and women who are giving and serving without a lot of attention. This is the 22nd year of the award, with the selections being made by the MHSAA's Representative Council.

Chrisinske has served as an athletic director the last 21 years and for 36 years total in public and community education. He came to Thornapple Kellogg in fall 2011 after 32 years with Allendale Public Schools, where he taught and coached before serving 19 years as athletic director and also as assistant principal and community education director. He has coached football, basketball, baseball and volleyball at school or youth levels, and also is a registered MHSAA volleyball official.

The 1972 graduate of Stockbridge High School also worked for Coopersville Community Education for two years after graduating with his bachelor’s degree in group social studies from Grand Valley State University in 1977. He earned a master’s in educational leadership from Grand Valley State in 1992 and became a Certified Athletic Administrator in 1997.

Chrisinske continues to lend his time and expertise to a number of committees and community efforts; he has served as a region representative for the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association for a decade, on various MHSAA committees including the baseball and wrestling sport committees and the scholarship classification committee, and on three successful school bond committees that led to new buildings and outdoor athletic facilities at Allendale. He also was a district representative for the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association for 10 years and has served on recreation committees for both Allendale and Thornapple Townships.

Chrisinske was recognized as the MIAAA Region IV Athletic Director of the year in 2004, and as Athletic Director of the Year by the West Michigan Officials Association in 2006 and West Michigan Umpires Association in 2011.

“Dave Chrisinske has become a go-to person in his league and community, always willing to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for high school athletics and serving student athletes,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. “His dedication shines through as well in his efforts with the MIAAA and as a frequent host of MHSAA tournaments. We are pleased to honor Dave Chrisinske with the Bush Award.”

Inglis also has served as an athletic director at two high schools, dating back to 1997. He spent 11 years at Suttons Bay, first as a teacher and also as assistant principal and middle school principal. He has spent the last five years as athletic director and assistant principal at Traverse City Central High School. Inglis is a 1989 graduate of Portage Northern High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Hope College and master’s from Ohio University.

He coached boys and girls cross country and track and field at Suttons Bay from 1995-2008, leading his teams to numerous conference championships and the girls cross country team to a runner-up finish at the 2002 Lower Peninsula Division 4 Final. He was named Cross Country Coach of the Year after that season by the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association, and the MITCA Track Coach of the Year the following spring. He also served as an assistant coach for eight seasons for the Traverse City St. Francis-led cooperative hockey program.

Inglis has been a member of the MIAAA since 1997, became a Certified Athletic Administrator in 1999, and has served as an MIAAA region representative since 2001. He too is a regular host of MHSAA tournaments in a number of sports and has served as a member of the track and field, hockey, skiing and cross country sport committees and the site and officials selection committees. He was named MIAAA Region 2 Athletic Director of the Year in 2003. Inglis was league treasurer and secretary for the Northwest Conference from 1997-2008 and has served as Big North Conference secretary since 2009.

He’s also active in a number of community programs, including Boy Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Special Olympics, the Suttons Bay Township Recreation Committee, the Suttons Bay Art Festival and with his church.

“Cody Inglis is named time and again by his fellow athletic administrators as someone of integrity and character,” Roberts said. “He’s passed on these and various lessons to his coaches and athletes, but also as a regular speaker at the MIAAA’s annual conference. His impact continues to affect those he works with regularly in the Traverse City area, but also others across our state. He is a deserving recipient of the Bush Award.”

2023 Forsythe Award Celebrates Leinaar's 40 Years Dedicated to School Sports

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 8, 2023

Few people in Michigan have had a longer-lasting influence on the rules and policies of educational athletics than Frankfort’s Karen Leinaar, who has served in several roles locally, statewide and nationally over more than 40 years contributing to the school sports community.

Thank you, Bill Baker.

The longtime teacher, coach, principal and superintendent during a career that stretched across multiple schools – including Leinaar’s growing up, Delton Kellogg – made an impression on the standout multi-sport athlete before she graduated from high school in 1977. Baker’s philosophy and work led Leinaar to study education at Michigan State University and then brought her back as Delton’s athletic director to begin four decades of making the same impact on children in her hometown and eventually in hometowns all over Michigan and beyond.

Baker died in 2009, but not before continuing to mentor Leinaar through many good times and tough ones.

“The man had two daughters that I grew up with, his wife was a teacher, and he demonstrated to all of us – he never missed an event – that we were important to him. That even though we weren’t his kids, we were his kids and athletics was a way to help kids become better people – and for some kids it was the only thing that they had positive in their life,” Leinaar said. “And he made it known just to that individual kid how important their participation was and their involvement, and how that helped them become the person that they were.

“That to me was such an example of how to help people be good people, that I just took that role on.”

It’s a role in which she continues to serve. Leinaar began her career as an athletic administrator in 1982, and as the interim athletic director currently at Frankfort High School is serving her fifth district in that position. Since June 2019, she also has served as executive director of the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA), the professional organization for school sports administrators in the state with a membership of nearly 700.

Leinaar accepts the MHSAA's Women In Sports Leadership Award in 1998. To recognize that longtime and continuing impact, Leinaar has been named the 2023 honoree for the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Charles E. Forsythe Award.

The annual award is in its 46th year and named after former MHSAA Executive Director Charles E. Forsythe, the Association's first full-time and longest-serving chief executive. Forsythe Award recipients are selected each year by the MHSAA Representative Council, based on an individual's outstanding contributions to the interscholastic athletics community.

Leinaar also served 22 years on the MHSAA’s Representative Council and a four-year term from 2009-13 on the Board of Directors for the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and just last week was named to the 2023 class of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Hall of Fame.

“It is impossible even to estimate the number of students, coaches, administrators and others who have been affected by the work Karen Leinaar has done to make school sports the best they can be – not only in her communities, but across Michigan and throughout the country,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “There are few who have equaled her dedication and her support and promotion of the ideals of school-based sports. She has always placed an emphasis on being in the room, on the field or at the arena, actively participating in her leadership roles, and our programs are better for it.”

Leinaar first served as athletic director at Delton Kellogg for nearly 17 years, from March 1982 through October 1998. She spent three years at Gaylord, then 8½ at Benzie Central before taking over at Bear Lake in November 2010 and spending the next decade organizing athletic programs for students in grades 5-12 before retiring in January 2021. She came out of retirement to return to the athletic director’s chair this past fall as interim AD at Frankfort. She has completed nearly four years as MIAAA executive director, moving into that position after previously serving nine years as an assistant to the executive.

Leinaar began her service on the Representative Council in Fall 1999 and completed her last term as a statewide at-large representative at the Fall 2021 meeting.

She has been honored several times for her contributions. She received the MHSAA’s Women In Sports Leadership Award in 1998, a Citation from the NFHS in 2000, and she was named MIAAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2001. She received an MHSAA’s Allen W. Bush Award in 2014 – recognition given for work done generally behind the scenes and with little attention.

“This is the top of the mountain, per se. This one does mean so much,” Leinaar said of the Forsythe Award. “The names that are associated with this over the years, I never thought I’d be put in that group.”

Leinaar remains a continuous source of support at a multitude of MHSAA championship events, and during her time on Council was one of the most frequent representatives handing out trophies and medals to champions and runners-up at Finals events. She began while athletic director at Delton Kellogg hosting the MHSAA Volleyball Finals in Class B and Class C and continues to assist with those championships now played at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

She also hosted Competitive Cheer Finals at Delton Kellogg in 1996 and 1997, Ski Finals while at Gaylord, and many more championship events across the Lower Peninsula. She continues to assist at the MHSAA’s Lower Peninsula Cross Country and Track & Field Finals.

After attending Delton Kellogg High School, Leinaar earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education, health and recreation, with a minor in driver education, from MSU in 1982. She completed a master’s in athletic administration from Western Michigan University in 1994.

Leinaar has been a member for 40 years of both the MIAAA and NIAAA, and has served as chairperson of the MIAAA Annual Conference and awards chairperson for both the state and national bodies. She’s also served as chairperson of the MIAAA’s Exemplary Athletic Program.

Past recipients of the Charles E. Forsythe Award 

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, Essexville 
1999 - Bernie Larson, Battle Creek 
2000 - Blake Hagman, Kalamazoo; Jerry Cvengros, Escanaba 
2001 - Norm Johnson, Bangor; George Lovich, Canton 
2002 - John Fundukian, Novi 
2003 - Ken Semelsberger, Port Huron
2004 - Marco Marcet, Frankenmuth
2005 - Jim Feldkamp, Troy
2006 - Dan McShannock, Midland; Dail Prucka, Monroe
2007 - Keith Eldred, Williamston; Tom Hickman, Spring Lake
2008 - Jamie Gent, Haslett; William Newkirk, Sanford Meridian
2009 - Paul Ellinger, Cheboygan
2010 - Rudy Godefroidt, Hemlock; Mike Boyd, Waterford
2011 - Eric C. Federico, Trenton
2012 - Bill Mick, Midland
2013 - Jim Gilmore, Tecumseh; Dave Hutton, Grandville
2014 - Dan Flynn, Escanaba

2015 - Hugh Matson, Saginaw
2016 - Gary Hice, Petoskey; Gina Mazzolini, Lansing
2017 - Chuck Nurek, Rochester Hills
2018 - Gary Ellis, Allegan
2019 - Jim Derocher, Negaunee; Fredrick J. Smith, Stevensville
2020 - Michael Garvey, Lawton
2021 - Leroy Hackley Jr., Byron Center; Patti Tibaldi, Traverse City
2022 - Bruce Horsch, Houghton

PHOTOS (Top) Karen Leinaar, left, awards the 2022 Division 4 volleyball finalist trophy to Indian River Inland Lakes coach Nicole Moore. (Middle) Leinaar accepts the MHSAA's Women In Sports Leadership Award in 1998.