MHSAA's Westdorp Recognized by NFHS

January 15, 2013

Michigan High School Athletic Association assistant director Kathy Vruggink Westdorp has been named 2013 Coach Educator of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Westdorp developed and continues to direct the MHSAA Coaches Advancement Program (CAP), a six-level educational regimen that aids coaches in their growth and development as they advance in the field of educational athletics.

Nearly 5,800 coaches have completed at least the first-level CAP unit since the program’s inception during the 2004-05 school year. More than 1,000 coaches have advanced at least through the program’s fourth level.  

A former principal, athletic director, teacher and coach in the Grand Rapids area, Westdorp oversees the program and personally presents many of the CAP units.

“Kathy Westdorp is the heart and soul of our coaches education efforts,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. “She is very deserving of this recognition.”

Delivery to Michigan’s current and prospective interscholastic coaches is done in two ways. First, presenters trained and evaluated by Westdorp travel the state to provide programs, which are coordinated by schools, school districts, leagues and coaches associations. Or, after faculty training and with Westdorp’s regular evaluation, colleges and universities in Michigan are licensed to present up to five levels of CAP through their undergraduate or graduate studies.

All aspects of CAP are administered from the MHSAA office under Westdorp’s direction. This includes the arrangements for continuing education credits through the State Department of Education, as well as liability insurance and an online newsletter for all coaches who complete CAP units.

Westdorp joined the MHSAA in 2004 after serving as principal at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central High School. She also previously served as athletic director at Grand Rapids Creston and as director of health and wellness programs for Grand Rapids Public Schools, taught at Grand Rapids Central and has coached basketball, field hockey, gymnastics, track and field and volleyball. Westdorp is a past president of the Ottawa-Kent Conference and a past recipient of the MHSAA’s Women in Sports Leadership Award.

The NFHS Coach Educator Award is presented annually to an individual who has exemplified passion and leadership for the promotion of coach education at the local, state and national levels. Nominations are considered by the NFHS Coach Education Committee, and the recipient is approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. 

94 Schools Raise Trophies as Part of 2023-24 MHSAA Parade of Champions

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

June 19, 2024

A total of 94 schools won one or more of the 129 Michigan High School Athletic Association team championships awarded during the 2023-24 school sports year, with three teams earning the first Finals championship in any sport in their schools’ histories.

Southfield Arts & Technology celebrated its first MHSAA Finals team championship during the fall, winning the 11-player Division 1 football title. Evart and Watervliet closed this spring by celebrating their first Finals victories, Evart as champion in Division 3 softball and Watervliet as champion in Division 4 baseball.

A total of 25 schools won two or more championships this school year, paced by Marquette’s six won in girls and boys cross country, girls and boys swimming & diving, boys golf and boys track & field. Detroit Catholic Central was next with four Finals championships, and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Farmington Hills Mercy, Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Jackson Lumen Christi all won three. Winning two titles in 2023-24 were Ann Arbor Greenhills, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Bark River-Harris, Clarkston Everest Collegiate, Detroit Country Day, Escanaba, Flint Kearsley, Fowler, Grand Rapids Christian, Hancock, Hudson, Hudsonville Unity Christian, Ishpeming, Negaunee, Northville, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Rochester Adams, Traverse City Christian and Traverse City St. Francis.

A total of 24 teams won first MHSAA titles in their respective sports. A total of 47 champions were repeat winners from 2022-23. A total of 22 teams won championships for at least the third-straight season, while 11 teams extended title streaks to at least four consecutive seasons. The Lowell wrestling program owns the longest title streak at 11 seasons. 

Sixteen of the MHSAA's 28 team championship tournaments are unified, involving teams from the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, while separate competition to determine title winners in both Peninsulas is conducted in remaining sports.

For a sport-by-sport listing of MHSAA champions for 2023-24, click here (PDF).

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.