Celebrity Golf Classic – Celebrity Information

2013 Celebrities (Many will return for the 2014 UPCGC along with other NEW and EXCITING Celebs! Stay tuned!)

Steve Mariucci, our Host and Presenting Sponsor


Stephen Ray “Steve” Mariucci is a former NFL Coach and is currently a host and analyst for the NFL Network. He was born in Iron Mountain, Michigan and quarterbacked NMU to the NCAA Division II National Football Championship in 1975. He began his coaching career at his alma-mater and then moved to Cal State Fullerton. Read More...

His first pro position was as a receiver’s coach for the USFL’s Orlando Renegades in 1985. Later that fall, he had a stint with the Los Angles Rams as quality control coach. He Joined the USC staff in 1986, and then moved to the coaching staff at California in 1987. In 1990 he served as the Golden Bear’s Offensive Coordinator before being appointed as QB coach for the Green Bay Packers. After four years as quarterback coach for the Packers, Mariucci returned to Cal as Head Coach in 1996. Following his season with the Golden Bears, Mariucci was considered a leading candidate for several NFL coaching positions, and was hired to coach the San Francisco 49ers. In 2001, the 49ers returned to the playoffs after a 12-4 season, but were edged out by the Packers. In Mariucci’s final season with the 49ers, he led them to an NF West win with a 10-6 record and beat the New York Giants in a wild card game, posting the second-biggest comeback playoff victory in NFL History. In 2003, Mariucci was named the Lion’s 22nd head coach. He spent 2+ years in Detroit, earning the NFL’s highest coaching contract at the tine. Mariucci is one of only thirteen head coaches since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to lead his team to a division title in his first season. Mariucci established an NFL mark for consecutive wins by a rookie head coach with an 11-game winning streak. After leaving Detroit, he was hired by the NFL Network as an analyst on the show NFL GameDay, and contributing analyst on the NFL Networks four-hour pregame show “NFL GameDay Morning”, as well as providing follow-up reports from the late afternoon and Sunday night matchups on “NFL GameDay Highlights.
Tom Izzo


Tom Izzo is a college basketball coach. Since 1995, he has been the head coach for the Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball team, presiding over a prolonged period of success. Under Izzo, the Michigan State program has been one of the most successful in the country. Read More...

Izzo has led the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA Division I National Championship, the 2009 NCAA Division I National Championship Game, six Final Fours, and seven Big Ten Championships in his first 17 years at Michigan State. The coach with the most wins in school history, Izzo’s teams have been invited to the past 15 consecutive NCAA tournaments, in addition to setting the Big Ten record for the longest home winning streak. These accomplishments led analyst Andy Katz at ESPN to deem Michigan State the top college basketball program for the decade from 1998 to 2007. Currently the longest tenured coach in the Big Ten Conference, Izzo, whose teams are often recognized for their rebounding prowess and defensive tenacity, has won four national coach of the year awards and maintains a considerable coaching tree—several of his former assistants are currently head coaches at other Division I schools. Izzo is just the 5th coach in Big Ten history to win 7 conference titles.
Jay Feely


Thomas James “Jay” Feely is an NFL placekicker for the Arizona Cardinals. Feely has also been a member of the Tampa Bay Storm, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets. Read More...

He was a four-year letterman at the University of Michigan where he played football. He was a member of the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie Team with the Falcons in 2001 and was a Pro Bowl alternate with the Giants in 2005. Jay has been with the Cardinals team since 2010, and became just the fourth kicker in 40 years to run for a touchdown, scoring on a fake field goal against the Denver Broncos. He also kicked a career-high five field goals in the game; 25 points, the most points scored by a player in a single game since 2007. On Christmas Day in 2010, Jay kicked a 48-yard field goal for a win over the Dallas Cowboys. Note: Jay is actively recruiting other NFL players to join us for the UPCGC and is hosting a Charter Fishing event the following day.
Lem Barney Lem Barney


Lemuel “Lem” Barney is a former American Football cornerback who played for the Detroit Lions. He was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. Barney was a second round draft choice in 1967. Read More...

He was named 1967′s defensive rookie of the year, and went on to be selected to seven Pro Bowls. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive backs in Detroit Lions history. During his time in the NFL (all of which were in Detroit), Barney had 56 career interceptions, and also gained over 1000 yards returning kickoffs and punts. In Barney’s first pro start, he intercepted the first pass in his direction from Green Bay’s Bart Starr and ran for a touchdown. In 1999, he was ranked number 97 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. His number, 20, which was also worn by future Detroit star running backs Billy Sims and Barry Sanders, was retired by the Lions. Both Barney and Lions teammate Mel Farr befriended Motown recording artist Marvin Gaye, when Gaye unsuccessfully tried out for the Lions in 1970. Barney and Farr sing background vocals on Gaye’s classic 1971 song “What’s Going On”, for which Lem earned a Gold Record. Lem Barney also had a role in the film The Black Six and appeared as himself in Paper Lion. He is now a minister. Lem Barney is currently an associate minister at Hope United Methodist Church in Southfield, Michigan. He is active in metro Detroit philanthropies and also mentors inner-city youth through his involvement with the church. Barney appears as a playable character in the All-Pro Football 2K8 video game.
Steve Azar Steve Azar


Azar, a native of the Mississippi Delta, is a country, blues and rock music songwriter artist and producer who released his debut album in 2001 titled Waitin’ On Joe. The title track was a #1 video featuring academy award winning actor Morgan Freeman. Read More...

Steve’s song “I Don’t Have To Be Me, Til Monday”, has received the 3 million radio airplay award and is the top 5 most played songs the past decade on country radio. Steve toured with Bob Seger’s 2006-07 tour ranked #1 by pollstar, and has had his songs recorded by numerous other musicians including Reba McEntire. Azar is also an accomplished golfer and been ranked as one of the top five musicians that play golf by “Golf Digest Magazine.” He is a frequent guest at charity golf tournaments across the country. He and his wife also founded the Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation, and host The Delta Soul Celebrity Golf & Charity event annually. Steve has been honored with his own in the states of Mississippi on March 13th and South Dakota on August 10th.  Steve’s CD “Slide On Over Here”, featuring the hit single “Sunshine”, was featured in Oprah’s O Magazine in her Top Things to Buy At Christmas” edition in 2011. And his song Doin’ It Right (Delta Mix) off of his latest release “Delta Soul Volume One, is currently the feature track in Sony Pictures 2012 release movie “Here Comes The Boom. For more on steve go to steveazar.com.


Rich Beem


Richard Michael Beemis an American professional golferon the PGA Tour. Beem was born in Phoenix, Arizona, grew up in El Paso, Texas, and played college golf at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.  In 1994 he became a professional golfer.  His early pro-golf career was briefly interrupted while working retail sales in Seattle. Read More...

In 1999 Beem re-focused his golf career after winning the Kemper Open as a rookie.In 2002 a victory at The International in Castle Rock, Colorado created even greater motivation for Beem. Two weeks later at the PGA Championship at Hazeltine National, one of golf’s four major tournaments, Beem fended off Tiger Woods to win. This victory over Woods helped establish Beem in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings.

Until his win over Woods, Beem was best known for his “wild lifestyle” during PGA tour rookie year profiled in the book “Bud, Sweat and Tees: A Walk on the Wild Side of the PGA Tour” by Alan Shipnuck.  During live coverage of the 2007Nissan Open at Riviera , Beem made a hole-in-one at 14 to win a new red Altima coupe, which he immediately ascended, embraced, and sat on top of in triumph. The sequence was later made into a Nissan commercial.  In2010 Beem was sidelined after undergoing back surgery. While Beem was expected to only miss six weeks, Unfortunately rehabilitation issues caused the layoff to encompass the remainder of the 2010 season and playing the 2011 season on a medical exemption. In 2011 season Beem made the cut for the Valero Texas Open where he finished tied for 15th. Currently Beem is the playing in the “past champions” category and last year on the European Tour in 2012.

Monte Colburn Monte Colburn


Monte Colburn is the Relief Captain on the Wizard, one of the crab fishing boats featured on Deadliest Catch. Monte made his way north just two years after his older brother Keith, getting a crash course in crab fishing off remote St. Paul Island in the dead of winter. Monte’s introduction to the Bering Sea took place on the deck of the crabber Juno, a partner Read More...

vessel to the Alaska Trader that Keith was working on. Monte’s first year in Alaska was a marathon that lasted 10 months before he took his first extended shore leave. From Monte’s very first day in Alaska, his career has consisted of one adventure after another. In 1988, he joined Keith aboard the Wizard as a full-share deck hand. A few years later, when Keith took over in the wheelhouse, Monte became deck boss. Monte earned his Coast Guard mate’s license in 1992 and upgraded to a master’s in 1995. By that time, Keith and Monte began operating the Wizard full time together as captain and relief captain/mate. For a time, Monte took command of a succession of his own crab boats, giving him the opportunity to gain captain’s experience and to operate his boats in partnership with Keith aboard the Wizard. Monte’s nickname may be “Mouse,” but he’s tough as nails. Last year, after Monte had two ribs broken during the famous “Wizard Wave,” he was back on board in only two weeks. Competent at the helm, he hit pay dirt last season on the notoriously difficult Baradai crab grounds while Keith was off. Among his many maritime adventures, Monte took the helm of Keith’s boat, the Sirene, to support an oil spill clean-up operation off the coast of Unalaska Island in the western Aleutians, not far from Dutch Harbor. A large cargo freighter had run aground in December 2004, spilling more than 300,000 gallons of fuel oil and killing thousands of seabirds and otters.
Mike Westoff Mike Westhoff


Mike Westhoff is the former special teams coach for the New York Jets of the National Football League. Westhoff is considered a “pioneering special teams coach” and his special teams units have generally ranked very highly in the NFL.He retired after the 2012 season.Westhoff was the special teams / tight ends coach for the Dolphins from 1986 – 2000. In 1988, Read More...

Westhoff was diagnosed with cancer of the femur in his left leg. Originally, the condition was misdiagnosed and Westhoff was nearly fatally wounded after the doctor accidentally cut one of his arteries. Once the correct diagnosis was made, Westhoff underwent ten surgeries to remove the cancer and the bone replacing it with bone grafts, plates, screws and pins. A cracked bone graft in 2007, caused Westhoff to announce his departure from the Jets. In 2008, Westhoff entered the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to undergo a procedure to replace the missing femur with a titanium rod. After vigorous rehabilitation, Westhoff was able to walk again and returned to the Jets’ sidelines in September 2008.
Marty Turco Marty Turco


Marty Turco is a Canadian former professional ice hockey goal tender who played 11 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL). He played nine seasons with the Dallas Stars and one season each with the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. Because of his puck handling prowess, Canadian hockey personality Don Cherry named Turco: “the smartest goalie in the NHL.”. Read More...

Turco is also an in-studio analyst at NHL Network. Early career. Unlike most Canadians in the NHL, Turco did not play major junior hockey, instead playing for the University of Michigan, with whom he won two NCAA championships. After playing minor hockey for the S.S. Marie Legion program in his hometown, Turco was undrafted by the Ontario Hockey League. He signed as a 17-year old with the Cambridge Winterhawks Jr. B team in 1992 and played two seasons with the OHA team before accepting an NCAA scholarship at U. Michigan (CCHA). He was drafted in the fifth round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars, and went on to play for Michigan that fall. Turco earned many awards in his four years at Michigan, including Rookie of the Year in 1995, Tournament MVP in 1998, and nominations to the First All-Star team in 1997, the Second All-Star Team in 1998, and the All-Tournament Team in 1996 and 1998. After graduating, Turco went to play for Dallas’s IHL affiliate, the Michigan K-Wings. In 1999, he was named IHL Rookie of the Year.After two years playing for the K-Wings, Turco was given the opportunity to be a backup for Ed Belfour in Dallas. He spent the next two years in Dallas gaining experience as the backup. After the 2001–2002 season, Dallas decided to make Turco the starting goaltender, allowing Belfour to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Dallas Stars. In his first year as the starting goaltender, 2002–03, Turco’sgoals-against average of 1.72 set a modern NHL record.  Turco played in the NHL All-Star Game during the season and was named to the Second All-Star Team following the season, finishing second in Vezina Trophy voting as well (behind Martin Brodeur). His .932 save percentage was also best in the NHL that year. However, he was unable to lead the Stars past the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the Western Conference semi-finals. During the 2003–04 season, Turco continued to give the Stars quality goal tending, again playing (and starting) in the All-Star Game. However, when the Stars played the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs, Turco struggled, receiving blame from some for the Stars’ losing the series in five games. In the 2005–06 season, Turco won a career-best 41 games, 8 of them in shootouts. Turco’s experience in the 2006 playoffs was similar to the prior season, again losing in five games to the Avalanche. On April 13, 2007, in the Stars first and only playoff series of the 2006–07 season, Turco recorded his first ever playoff shutout against the Vancouver Canucks to tie the series 1–1. After the game, he stated, “We know we can beat these guys here [Vancouver], or at home, or anywhere.” Turco went on to lose against the Canucks at home in game three, dropping a 2–1 overtime victory, when Taylor Pyatt got a quick one-time shot off a feed from Bryan Smolinski. In game 4, once again the Stars could not put up a win, losing to the Canucks 2–1 off of goals from MattiasOhlund, then the game winner from Trevor Linden. The Stars then went on to win game 5 in the series with 1–0 OT win. Brenden Morrow scored the game’s only goal 6:22 into the first OT period, allowing Turco to get his second career playoff shutout. Turco followed this up with his third shutout of the series in a 2–0 win. The series ended on Monday, April 23, 2007 with a score of 4–1 in favor of Vancouver, with Trevor Linden again scoring the eventual game-winner in the 2nd period. The three shutouts posted by Turco in that series represent a record amount of shutouts in a single playoff series, a mark that has been tied by the New Jersey Devils’ goalie Martin Brodeur, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim’ goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and Philadelphia Flyers’ goalie Michael Leighton. Turco recorded 32 wins in the 2007–08 season, and helped the Stars to playoff wins over the defending Stanley Cup champions Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks, before losing in six games to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals. On January 15, 2009, Turco recorded his 421st game for the Dallas Stars becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in games played by a netminder, surpassing CesareManiago’s near 33-year old record of 420. He would also pass Maniago later that month in total minutes played, on January 29 while also winning his first regular-season game at Joe Louis Arena in 11 tries against the Detroit Red Wings. Again on February 9 he broke yet another of Maniago’s records by starting in his 24th consecutive game in goal. Ultimately, the Stars failed to qualify for the postseason. On April 13, 2010, it was reported that Turco would not be resigned by Dallas, ending his nine years with the Stars.Chicago Blackhawks On August 2, 2010, Turco signed a one-year contract as a free agent with the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, replacing Antti Niemi as their starting goaltender. The Blackhawks had previously swept San Jose in the Western Conference Finals in the playoffs. His first win with Chicago came on October 15, a 5–2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Later in the season, he was benched by the team, and was replaced by Corey Crawford as the starting goaltender. He ultimately saw action in 29 games, compiling an 11-11-3 reord. Turco with the Boston Bruins in 2012. In December 2011, Turco signed a deal with the EC Red Bull Salzburg of the Erste Bank Hockey League in Austria. It was only a short-term deal, however, and Turco was only expected to play December 16 and 18 in the European Trophy Finals/Red Bull Salute. However, the following month, in January, he signed a deal with EC Salzburg through the end of the EBHL season, including an NHL-out clause that lasted until the NHL trade deadline, which occurred on February 27.Boston Bruins On March 5, 2012 Turco was signed by the Boston Bruins. Turco cleared waivers on March 7 and joined the Bruins. He was signed after it was learned that Boston Bruins back-up goalie Tuukka Rask would be out 4-6 weeks with a lower abdominal strain. Since he was signed after the NHL trade deadline, he was not eligible to participate in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. Television Turco, before signing with EC Salzburg, worked as an analyst for the NHL Network, providing in-studio analysis during the show “On The Fly”. Turco joined NHL Network’s team after the Blackhawks were eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks during the 2011 NHL playoffs. Turco says a full-time job in television might be in his future, but he would like to play again and is not ready to retire. Turco joined Team Canada for the 2011 Spengler Cup after not playing for nine months.Turco also appeared in two commercials for the National Hockey League. In a 2006 commercial for the NHL’s “Game On!” promotion, Turco can be seen in back of a family’s car to remind the father that the NHL season is starting. Turco can also be seen in the NHL’s “Road Trip” commercial, which was debuted during the 2007 NHL All-Star game in Dallas. Turco can be seen sleeping as fellow goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Ryan Miller set him to cover himself in shaving cream as a result of a prank.
Kevin Tapani Kevin Tapani


Kevin Ray Tapani is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and Chicago Cubs from 1989 to 2001. Tapani was raised in Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He quarterbacked Escanaba High School to the 1981 MHSAA Class A State Football Championship.Read More...

Tapani made his Major League debut on July 4, 1989. Over his 7 seasons with the Twins, Tapani was a workhorse starter the Twins who averaged more than 13 wins and over 200 innings in his five full seasons. On July 20, 1998 while playing for the Cubs, Tapani had perhaps the most memorable day of his career. Throwing 8 innings against the Braves, he allowed just three runs and topped it off by hitting a third inning grand slam off former Twins teammate Denny Neagle in an 11-4 romp over the Atlanta Braves. In his career, Tapani pitched adeptly in both the American League and National League, and played his last game on September 27, 2001. His career record: 143 wins, 125 losses, and an ERA of 4.35.
George Koonce George Koonce


George Koonce played professional football for a decade, the majority of those years with the Green Bay Packers, with whom he won the Super Bowl XXXI title. Since his playing career ended, he has served as senior associate athletics director at Marquette University, athletics director at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Read More...

director of player development for the Packers and special assistant to the athletic director at East Carolina University.   Koonce received his Ph.D. from Marquette with his doctoral dissertation focusing on “Role Transition of National Football League Players: Using the Grounded Theory.”  His guest column on the same topic on the NFL blog received national notice and raised awareness for the problems faced by retired NFL players.  He is a member of the NFL Player Engagement Advisory Board and is currently co-authoring a book entitled, Is There Life After Football, which is scheduled to be released for publication in early 2014.

Currently he serves as director of development at Marquette University, where he works with the Urban Scholars Program; the initiative affords first-generation college students from diverse backgrounds opportunities to receive a college education. As an African American who understands the challenges faced by students from disadvantaged backgrounds, George works to identify and engage prospective partners and investors on behalf of Urban Scholars and Marquette.  George meets with community leaders interested in helping these students, for whom scholarships play an essential role in their ability to attend Marquette.  Urban Scholars provides full-tuition scholarships, and George works with investors to fund the program, which is helping to develop the next generation of diverse leaders.

Eric LeMarque Eric LeMarque


“I remember falling back into the snow, looking at my feet and going, ‘You’re going to lose your feet. The next thought was, ‘You’re not as tough as you think you are.’” Eric LeMarque was more than tough, he was hockey tough.  He spent most of his life on the ice, with one goal in mind. Read More...

“Once I got into the rink and just had the taste and smell of it, it was forever in my blood and I forever was going to be a professional hockey player,” Eric tells The 700 Club. After two years in the Minors, he went pro in Europe.  With a dual citizenship, he played in the ’94 Olympics for France.  Like all pro athletes, Eric’s career came to a close.  He got a job at a sporting goods company,  but without the routine and excitement of hockey, he found other things to get the high he once got on the ice – including drugs like crystal meth…  “It made me feel so euphoric, gave me this incredible surge of energy, an incredible lift, and high. Meth affected my judgment. I isolated myself from my family, my friends and did my own thing when I wanted to, how I wanted to, who I wanted to do with and nothing else mattered but me.” Then Eric developed another addiction.”Snowboarding to me became my passion. It became something that I lived for and something that I became very selfish with where I was willing to sacrifice my output for work.”  As it turned out, he sacrificed even more. Eric had been snowboarding on California’s mammoth mountain when an approaching storm forced the ski patrol to shut down the slopes. “I noticed skI patrol was out there ushering people off the west side of the mountain.” Eric chose to ignore the ski patrol’s warning; he was determined to take one last ride. That decision led him into a living hell he could never have imagined. “I hiked up to a run. A big mistake that I made is that I knew that I was riding down into fog. Once I got down and I hit the fog, it was like I opened the door to a third another world.” But in the fog Eric took a wrong turn and headed into the wilderness.  Now he was lost and had to spend the night. He recalls, “I didn’t sleep a wink. I sat there shivering, and the shivers didn’t end until I was off the mountain. “My plan the second day is to walk down. I know that maybe I can follow my tracks back. I hear water, and I was drawn to it.  So I figured I’m going to drink here. I’ve got maybe about a mile, a half mile to hike towards Tamarack Lodge.” After Eric drank from the river, he remembered he had a bag of meth. “I sat there with my emotions. Do I take the rest of this meth and follow my tracks back out or is that going to put me in a worse situation?”  At that critical moment, he dumped the meth out on the snow.  Then, he went for one last drink.  “[I] Put my hand on rock and took biggest drink that I could. The ledge I was on gave way and now I found myself in the river being pulled down. I fought over and got to the side of the river. So, now I was in an environment where it was freezing cold but completely soaked. I just stripped down and basically just did what I called the fire dance.” Eric put his damp clothes back on. He made little progress before nightfall. “I climbed up on this rock cliff, went on the other side and slept on a ledge.”By the next morning, the sub-zero temperatures had taken a heavy toll. “Now time to face what the facts were that I couldn’t feel my feet anymore. I realized how much trouble I was in, because when I took my socks off, my feet were black and purple.” Eric pressed on, going farther away from help. He says, “Hiked and hiked and hiked and made about seven miles this day, and it’s like God came and scooped out the sky. Now it was just clear. I could see everythying. I thought, ‘I’m one ridge too far south, and now I am faced with this giant mountain range that I have to get up and over.’” Eric had gone nine miles off course. For the next three days, he inched his way up the mountain. “I was pulling my legs out of the snow. I was trying to dig my board and pull myself up for only the snow to give way and come back down like a fish out of water.”  He slept in snow caves he carved for shelter. His reserves exhausted and his feet like blocks of ice, he refused to give up. “I said, ‘I have to take at least 10 steps.’ That is why I took my 10 steps. I would sleep for an hour. I would sleep for two hours. My body had given way to a skeletal type frame now. I lost so much mass and my energy was just gone. The hunger pains were there, but now I started to have some delusional feelings and dreams. I’m like turning around really quick like, ‘Who’s there?’ I could have sworn it was the grim reaper just looking at me and laughing at me. This day I started to pray, I prayed that somebody knew that I was gone.”  That someone lived five hours away in Los Angeles. It was his mother, Susan LeMarque. She had become worried when Eric didn’t return her phone calls. Susan says, “I knew something was terribly wrong. I went outside, and it was pitch black. I just screamed. I just screamed.” Susan convinced Eric’s father and a friend to go to the authorities in Mammoth. They confirmed that her son was missing. “I could hear in their voices the panic and the fear,” Susan says. “I just kept crying and screaming, ‘God, please watch over him. No matter what, just let him be alive.” The search for Eric had begun. Meanwhile, Eric had climbed within 10 steps of the ridge, but now he needed rest. “I slept and I slept in very crude shelter that night. I sleep through the sixth night. I slept through the entire seventh night in one spot, which was 10 steps from over looking the top of the mountain.” Then Eric woke up and turned on his MP3 radio. He says, “I heard that search and rescue is brought in to do a body recovery on Eric LeMarque who’s been out in the mountains for a week now. I said, ‘No matter even if I had to crawl on my hands and knees, I was not going to give up. There is no way I am going to let my parents bury me.’” But something was wrong. “I kept falling asleep as I was doing things and I realized, ‘You are dying of hypothermia, because you just want to fall asleep and stay asleep.’” Back in Los Angeles, his mother waited and prayed. Then finally a breakthrough… Susan says, “Screaming in the phone, ‘There’s hope! There’s hope! They found something. He’s out there and they know where to look.’” “All of a sudden I just hear a chopper going past me,” Eric says. “Immediately as I fell to my knees, I remember the chopper hovering. It was loud.” After eight days on the mountain, he was found. “The one thought that was prevailing was I was going to go back to every relationship that’s worth something [and make it] mean something now. I’m going to restore everything that’s been broken.” Eric wasn’t out of danger yet.”His body temperature was 86 degrees. He was severely dehydrated and had lost 40 pounds,” Susan says. “The worse news of all, both feet would have to be amputated.” “These are the feet that took me around the world,” he says, “that helped me achieve all the talents, skills wordly dreams. So immediately I clung to them as long as I could, and I wept.”  Dealing with the loss of his feet and regaining his health was a long process for Eric. He also came to terms with his drug addiction, but he learned that he couldn’t do it by himself. He had to depend on God for his strength. “I went to church in a wheelchair. I got up on my knees. I started giving God praise and asked the Lord to come into my heart and really received it. From there, it just changed my life.” That gave Eric new purpose for his life. “The longest anyone had survived had been two nights out in those conditions,” he says. “I survived seven, and there’s a reason that I am here. I am now here to glorify God. I just found a praise in my heart. I just found a transformation.” Eric is now married with two sons. He hasn’t touched drugs since, and in fact, he still loves to snowboard. If there’s anything he learned from his experience, it’s this…”If you don’t have Christ, you’re missing out. You’re missing out on really living your life, because I’m a person with no feet. I’m a person who’s achieved worldly dreams and all of those were a shadow without Christ. Now that I have Christ, I feel alive. I feel like I can run. I feel like I can dance, and I feel like I’m a richer man.”

McCoy Mike McCoy


Michael Patrick McCoy (born September 6, 1948) played for the Green Bay Packers, the Oakland Raiders, the New York Giants, and the Detroit Lions. Mike McCoy is a native of Erie, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Cathedral Preparatory School. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Economics where he played football and was a Consensus All-American. Read More...

He was named Lineman of the Year by the Associated Press and was sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting his senior year. NFL career He was the first pick of the Green Bay Packers and second player overall selected in the 1970 NFL Draft. McCoy was named Packers Rookie of the Year in 1970 and led the Packers in quarterback sacks in 1973 and 1976. He played eleven years in the NFL – seven with Green Bay, two with the Oakland Raiders and two with the New York Giants. Awards Mike received many awards including the Packers Rookie of the Year, Packers Dodge NFL Man of the Year, Notre Dame Pro Player of the Year, and induction into the Erie, PA Pro Hall of Fame, Cathedral Prep Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Mike is a recipient of the Harvey Foster Humanitarian Award by the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association. Mike was also awarded Bronco Nagurski Legends award which recognize the best of the best of defensive football players in last 40 years. Civic activities McCoy was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Council on Sports for a Drug Free America and by former Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh to the Pennsylvania Council for Physical Fitness. McCoy served as the chaplain of the Atlanta Braves and currently serves on several community outreach boards. Mike served on the Board of Directors of YMCA Camp High Harbour, Camp Hope in Georgia, Pro Athletes Outreach and Wisconsin Special Olympics. Mike McCoy Ministries Mike now lectures on the importance of good decision-making, fighting drug addiction, and empowering youth. Mike is President of Mike McCoy Ministries. He speaks primarily in Catholic Schools across America and abroad. He has also been a speaker for the National Catholic Educators Convention, Catholic Men’s Rallies, Bill Glass Ministries in prisons and to parents and coaches through the Notre Dame Play Like a Champion program.

Terry Ahola


Terry Ahola is a former member of the US Ski Team. A native of Gladstone, Michigan, he spent 3 seasons on the US Ski Team. He competed in the Europa Cup/World Cup before joining the North American Pro Tour in 1984. He was selected as Western Rookie of the Year in 1984, and later joined the Legends of Skiing at Vale, and is considered a “Valued Ambassador of the Sport of Skiing”. Read More...

He was inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.  He learned to ski at Ludington State Park in Michigan, and said that his father Kip made his first pair of ski boots by cutting off the tips of an old pair of shoes and nailing them onto skis. His post skiing career has included commentating on skiing events for ESPN and doing a commercial for Maxwell House. Ahola now operates a hotel in Michigan and works for Banshee Music in Milwaukee as an artist liaison.
Nick Baumgartner


Nick Baumgartner is a US Snowboarder from Iron River, Michigan. His first world cup victory was in 2008 in Lake Placid, NY. In 2009 he earned a bronze medal while at the world championship competition. He won the world cup in 2011. Baumgartner was a member of the 2010 USA Winter Olympics team. Read More...

With 15 screws and a plate in his neck, in 2011 Nick broke Nate Holland’s winning streak. In January 2011, he won the gold medal at the Winter X Games in Aspen, and in 2012 won silver. He also competes in the Stock Truck Class TRAXXAS TORC Series, finishing in the Top 3 in each of his first three races, and held the points lead mid-season earning the title of Rookie of the Year.
Rickey Young Rickey Young


Rickey Young a former football running back who played nine seasons in the NFL. During college Young played football at Jackson State where he was a teammate of Walter Payton. Young was the seventh-round draft selection of the San Diego Chargers in 1975 and, playing for offensive coordinators such as Bill Walsh and Jerry Burns, soon became one of the best receivers out of the backfield in the NFL. Read More...

After playing three years for the Chargers (1975–1977) he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings where he played his final six NFL seasons.  During his first season in 1978 with the Vikings he led the NFL in receptions with 88 – 14 more than any other player in the league. At the time, that set a record for receptions by a running back in a single season. But it’s not something that happened on the field that Young ranks as his highlight in football.  “I remember we were sitting in a meeting,” Young said, “and Vikings coach Bud Grant said, ‘If I had 43 guys who’d play as hard as Rickey every day, every down, I assure you that I could win a damn football game. If you guys played and practiced and prepared like this guy does, I guarantee I’d win some football games.’  “And that’s probably the highlight of my career. To be brought up by a guy like that and for him to say something like that about you in a meeting with everybody, well …”  Young is currently retired and plays golf and works with charitable organizations such as the Vikings Children’s Fund and the Humane Society. He still lives in Minnesota, near his old coach and good friend Burns.
Tim Culbertson Tim Culbertson


Tim Culbertson is an actor and occasional stuntman who played one of Khan’s henchmen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Culbertson has also appeared in television series such as WKRP in Cincinnati, The Love Boat, Battlestar Galactica, Cheers, and in a regular swat team role in Hill Street Blues. Read More...

He has appeared in television commercials such as those for Salem cigarettes and Schlitz beer (with Teri Garr) and in magazine print ads. Tim is also an athlete and animal wrangler, especially for snakes, and served two years in the US Army in Vietnam.  Among his acting and stunt resume are films such as Captain America, An Eye for an Eye, To Live and Die in L.A., Liberty & Bash, Two Shades of Blue, and The Ghost.

Darryl-Darryl Darryl & His Other Brother Darryl


Tony Papenfuss and John Vogelstad are American television and film actors, best known for their roles as the brothers Darryl & his other brother Darryl on Newhart. Tony reprised this role as a guest-star on an episode of Coach. Before his appearance on Newhart, he also had minor roles in Escape from New York and Firefox. Read More...

After Newhart, he guest starred on many television shows, including Seinfeld, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Murphy Brown, Roswell, and Providence. He also appeared in several films, including How to Kill a Mockingbird, Factotum, and Sweet Land. His most recent projects include The Completely Remarkable, Utterly Fabulous Transformation of a Regular Joe and Holiday Beach. He is currently performing with “the other Darryl” in the production of “Deer Camp: The Musical.” John Vogelstad is an American television and film actor. Vogelstad is most remembered for his appearance as the other brother Darryl on the Bob Newhart Show and in Stripes (1981) as Stillman’s Aide. They are both currently performing in the production of “Deer Camp: The Musical.”

Aaron Gavey Aaron Gavey


Aaron Gavey is a retired ice hockey player. He last played in the Deutsche EishockeyLiga for the KölnerHaie (Cologne Sharks). Gavey played Junior “A” hockey for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League from 1991 through 1994, during which time he tallied 94 goals and 110 assists in 170 games. Read More...

The Greyhounds played in the Memorial Cup all three years, winning the tournament in 1994 and finishing as the runner-up in 1993. Gavey was drafted 74th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft and has played for six different NHL teams including the Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He has played 355 career NHL games, scoring 41 goals and 50 assists for 91 points.

Rob Rubick


Rob Rubick is a former NFL Tight End for the Detroit Lions. He attended Grand Valley State. He was drafted in the 1982 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions in the twelfth round.  As an NFL player Rubick played in 88 games, had 4 touchdowns (3 receiving, 1 rushing), 44 receptions, and 1 carry.  Read More...

From 1999 to 2007, he served as the Detroit Lions studio analyst on the Detroit Sports Report, and later on Lions Live, on Fox Sports Detroit. Rubick has done the radio color commentary for EMU football on WEMU since 2004. After leaving professional football, Rubick received Masters’ Degrees from Eastern Michigan University and Marygrove College and currently works as a teacher at Lapeer West High School in Lapeer, Michigan.  In 2010, he became the color commentator for preseason games on the Detroit Lions Television Network.
Tully Blanchard


Tully Blanchard is a semi-retired second- generation American professional wrestler. He is best known as an original member of the Four Horsemen. He worked for most of the major professional wrestling organizations in the United States: the National Wrestling Alliance, American Wrestling Association, World Championship Wrestling, and the World Wrestling Federation (now known as WWE). Read More...

On March 31st, 2012, Tully Blanchard was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Four Horsemen. Throughout the latter half of 1985, Blanchard and a number of high profile wrestlers in the company often competed together, usually in variations of tag team matches or interfering in one another’s matches if they appeared to be losing. In early 1986, the foursome became a solidified group and called themselves the Four Horsemen. The group quickly established dominance within the territory by capturing numerous championships with Blanchard winning the NWA National Heavyweight Championship in March 1986 and with Flair as the NWA World Champion.
Tina Stull


Tina Stull is a NHRA Super Comp Dragster driver. In 1998, she went to the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in Pomona, Calif., but didn’t start drag racing until 2002 after being diagnosed with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. In 2002 she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and told she had 3 years to live. Later, when Read More...

Stull went back to the doctor they told her, “You don’t have cancer, we can’t find it; we don’t know how to explain the pathology reports, so just go home.”
“If I was going to race when I was dying, why wouldn’t I race now that I was living,” she said. Today Tina continues to pursue her racing career as a National Hot Rod Association Super Comp Dragster driver and is helping people everywhere overcome their obstacles and reach for their dreams. Tina has particularly hit a chord with our military families. Tina has visited bases all over America, with her Dragster, and speaks about her experiences, visits with Soldiers and signs autographs. Tina has created Team Troops, a support group for people in our military, and has been providing soldiers, and their families.
Corey Miller Corey Miller


Corey James Miller was born in Pageland, South Carolina and is a retired former American footballlinebacker in the National Football League for the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings. Read More...

He played college football at the University of South Carolina and was drafted in the sixth round of the 1991 NFL Draft. He currently works as a host of the Corey Miller show from 3 to 6pm on Columbia sports radio station 560 the team.
Craig Coxe Craig Coxe


Craig R. Coxe a retired professional ice hockey player played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues, and the San Jose Sharks. Coxe also played two seasons of major league roller hockey in the RHI, after having grown up playing the sport in Laguna Beach, California. Read More...

In 1982 he was selected in fourth round (66th overall) in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings.Coxe played for four different NHL teams over eights seasons in the NHL.

Best known as an enforcer, Coxe played in 235 NHL regular season games, scoring 45 points and racking up 713 minutes in penalties. Coxe was suspended for the first three games of the 1987–88 NHL season for leaving the penalty box to fight Joe Paterson during a pre-season game against the Los Angeles Kings.  Coxe was known as a willing fighter at the NHL level and his fights with Bob Probert have been referred to as “two of the biggest toe to toe slugfests of all time”.  During the 1999-00 season, his final year as a player, Coxe was playing with the San Antonio Iguanas in the CHL. Before the season’s end, Coxe was named the assistant coach for the team. The following season Coxe was named head coach of the CHL’s Huntsville Tornado. Coxe was also the head coach of the CHL’s El Paso Buzzards for their final season in 2002-03. He is currently the head hockey coach at Cheboygan Area High School in Cheboygan, Michigan.

Eldon Miller Eldon Miller


Eldon Miller is a former college men’s basketball coach. The Gnadenhutten, Ohio native has led four different programs in 36 years of coaching: Wittenberg University (1962–70), Western Michigan University (1971–76), Ohio State University (1977–86) and the University of Northern Iowa (1987–98). Read More...

His overall record is 568–419 and 5–6 in NCAA Tournament games. Miller is now the assistant coach for his son, Ben Miller, at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in Pembroke, NC.  Miller was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.  He was also inducted into Wittenberg’s Athletics Hall of Honor in 1986.
Nik Ahola


Nik Ahola plays golf at the NCAA Division 1 Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Fla. His association with golf has been enhanced for several years by contacts made through his father, Terry, a former U.S. Ski Team member who regularly participates in golf charity fundraisers around the country. Read More...

Nik has appeared in a Steve Azar video with PGA member John Daly, who once called him at the Terrace Bluff Golf and Country Club and offered a golf tip. He has met and played with many PGA event players such as Jerry Kelly, Robert Gamez and Robert Kraft.
Josh Langfeld


Josh Langfeld is an professional ice hockey player. Langfeld was drafted in the 3rd round, 66th overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators. He played four years at the University of Michigan before turning pro. In 1998, Langfeld scored the game-winning goal Read More...

against Boston College to win the NCAA Championship for the University of Michigan. He has spent time with the Senators, San Jose Sharks, and the Detroit Red Wings, as well as American Hockey League clubs the Grand Rapids Griffins, Milwaukee Admirals and Binghamton Senators.
George Bowman George Bowman


George is the Secretary & Events Coordinator for the Detroit Red Wing Alumni Association. He is the head golf professional at Oakhurst Golf and Country Club and the Ann Arbor Golf and Outing Club. Read More...

Played Nike Tour 93-94 / played in 2 PGA Championships (only club pro to have hole in one in a PGA). George will be bringing several Red Wings with him to the event, to be named shortly. Also rumored to attend is the guitarist for Kid Rock. Bob Richie is unable to attend due to a conflict, but has sent autographed memorabilia for the Live Auction.
Randy McKay


Randy is a retired Canadian professional hockey player; he played in the National Hockey League from 1988 – 2003, with the Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadians. Randy is best remembered for scoring the winning goal in game six of the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. Read More...

The Devils went on to win the Stanley Cup by upsetting the favored Red Wings in four games. In a regular season game, Randy and teammate John Madden each scored 4 goals and went on to a 9-0 win over the Penguins. Randy with the Devils won his second Stanley Cup in 2000 against the Dallas Stars. Randy played hockey for Michigan Technological University and is currently a volunteer assistant coach for Tech’s ice hockey program.
Mark Maroste


Retired professional hockey player. Mark played college hockey at Michigan Tech and went on to play for Norway and Germany. While in Germany, Mark tallied 496 points. He was the assistant hockey coach at Michigan Tech from 2001 – 2004. Read More...

Mark is the General Manager and Head Professional at Portage Lake Golf Course in Houghton.
Larry Poncino


Major League Umpire worked the 1996 Midsummer Classic, the 2006 Division Series and the League Championship Series 1998, 2003 and 2005. Larry was behind the plate for Dennis Martinez’s perfect game in July 1991 at Dodger Stadium. Larry co-chairs the One on One Partners Golf Charity and was the San Clemente City Golf Champ in 1986.

John Hiller


John Hiller was formally introduced to the baseball world as a Detroit Tiger southpaw relief pitcher in 1967. During this pennant season he became the Tiger’s go to guy, posting a solid 2.63 ERA in 65 innings pitched. In 1971, John suffered a massive heart attack and had to sit out the entire ’71 season.  Read More...

John took every opportunity to practice his fastball, change-up, and curve ball, this hard work did not go unnoticed by manager, Billy Martin, who later called John up in July of 1972, and in 1973, John had what baseball statistician, Bill James once called “the greatest season for a closer in the history of baseball.”  As the Tiger’s closer that season, John posted at the time a major league record of 38 saves in 125 innings pitched.  He was later honored with many awards one being the Hutch Award, given to the player who best displays a fighting spirit and competitive desire.
Jack Mauro


Jack Mauro, a native of Saginaw, Michigan began his college football career at the University of Wyoming will a full-ride football scholarship. He transferred to NMU to be closer to his family, where he was named All-American. Read More...

Mauro was recruited by the Green Bay, where he played for a year as a Green Bay Packer under coach Vince Lombardi. He was traded to the Denver Broncos and played with them for three years until an injury ended his career.
Chuck Klingbeil


Chuck started his career at Northern Michigan University, where he helped NMU to a NCAA playoff quarterfinal berth in 1987. The defensive tackle went on to star with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. Read More...

He was named defensive MVP of the 1989 Grey Cup game. Chuck, a Houghton, MI native then played five years for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, where he started all 16 games each year, leading the team in tackles in 1995 and 1996.Chuck currently works with Michigan Tech’s defensive ends, helping them with their strength and conditioning program.
Dusty Collins


Dusty, in his rookie season at Northern Michigan University, played in 36 games for the Wildcats posting seven points. Prior to NMU, Dusty played for the U.S. National Team Development Program during the 2002-03 season. He amassed 17 points in 53 games played. Read More...

He was a member of Team USA’s gold medal winning squad at World U-17 Challenge in Winnipeg, Manitoba and at the Four Nations Tournament in Sweden. In 2004, Dusty was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning as a forward.Dusty is back at NMU working with Coach Kyle and the team as an assistant coach.
Joe Rizzo


Joseph Rizzo is a PGA Professional in Iron Mountain, Michigan with one singular goal in mind – to make the game of golf more enjoyable for you. He started golfing when he was 20 years old after his friends introduced him to the game. Read More...

His proudest golf accomplishment was caddying for a friend in the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach. Joe’s biggest golf pet peeve on or off the course is people not fixing pitch marks on greens or repairing divots.
Bobby Jurasin


Bobby Jurasin, a Canadian Football League All-Star, played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Toronto Argonauts.  Bobby was part of the Roughriders Grey Cup winning team; he also won the Molson Cup Most Popular Player in 1987 and 1997.  He is the Roughriders all-time leader in quarterback sacks with 142. Read More...


Bobby also played for the Arena Football League with the Iowa Barnstormers.  He was inducted in the Northern Michigan University Hall of Fame in 1998 and the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.  Bobby was also inducted in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Pat Mikesch


Pat Mikesch is assistant coach of The Green Bay Gamblers. Prior to going to Green Bay, Mikesch served as an assistant coach for the past six years with Michigan Tech University of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Along with his time as an assistant at Michigan Tech, Mikesch also was involved with USA Hockey. Read More...

Mikesch served as an assistant coach for the United States Under 17 team that won the gold medal at the 2011 Five Nations Cup in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mikesch was a four-year member (1992-96) of Michigan Tech’s men’s ice hockey team. He helped the Huskies to three WCHA Final Fives in four years.  During his freshman campaign, Mikesch was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team.  Mikesch was also a three-time member of the WCHA ALL-Academic Team. He served as the Huskies team captain for the 1995-96 season, and left Michigan Tech as the program’s seventh all-time leading point scorer with 57 goals and 112 assist.  After his collegiate career, Mikesch played eight years of professional hockey in the AHL, IHL, ECHL and in Germany.
Mark Olver Mark Olver


Mark Olveris a Canadian professional ice hockey center for the Colorado Avalanche. Olver originally played Midget AAA hockey in Michigan with the Marquette Electricians. In two seasons with the Electricians, Olver led the team in scoring in each season and in 2004–05 was named the team’s Most Valuable player.  Read More...

In 2005 Mark planned to follow his family to NMU as a Wildcat recruit where his father John served as an assistant coach and his brother Darin was a junior.   However before he was eligible to attend college, Olver had joined the Chilliwack Chiefs of the British Columbia Hockey League. On the eve of the season under a swirl of controversy Mark was released by the Chiefs and recruited to join the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League.

In his second season with the Lancers Olver displayed offensive potential to lead the team with 29 goals 35 assists and 64 points to earn the honor as Omaha’s Forward of the Year and Most Valuable Player. Following his high school graduation Olver joined NMU Wildcats of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.As a freshman in 2007 Mark led all NCAA Rookies in goals (21) and was selected to the CCHA All-Rookie Team.  In 2008 Olver was drafted in the NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round, 140th overall. In 2009 he helped NMU advance to the NCAA finals for the first time since 1999. In the wake of leading the Wildcats for a third consecutive season in scoring he was named to the CCHA First All-Star team and the NCAA West First-All American team.Mark also led the CCHA with 49 points in 40 games as a junior earning selection as a top 10 finalist in the Hobey Baker Award.On March 30, 2010, after a three year collegiate career with the Wildcats, Olver was signed by the Avalanche to a two-year entry level contract.

Roger Mason Roger Mason


Roger Le Roy Mason is a retired American professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues primarily in relief from 1984 to 1987, 1989, and 1991–1994. Mason excelled in the post season where his microscopic ERA of 0.49 over 18.1 innings is still among the best for relievers.Read More...

Mason appeared in the 1993 World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies. In November 2008, Mason was hired as the pitching coach of the Traverse City Beach Bums of independent baseball’s Frontier league. In his initial season as coach, the Beach Bums posted the third lowest earned run average in the league.
Local Celebrities:
Greg Andrews


Greg Andrews considers it a pleasure to serve at the request of Governor Snyder as the Governor’s eyes and ears in Northern MI. Additionally, it is his charge to bring issues and opportunities from Northern MI to Governor Snyder’s attention. Andrews directed campaign activities for then candidate Rick Snyder, in the northern 37 counties of Michigan. Of those, they won 36 counties in the general election.

Walt & Mike


Walt Lindala & Mike Plourde are hosts of “The SUNNY Morning Show with Walt & Mike” on Marquette County’s Sunny 101.9 WKQS-fm.  The show features a unique blend of the best in music, the latest news, weather, sports and in-depth interviews with the community’s movers and shakers. Walt Lindala has covered news in Upper Michigan since 1987 and has Read More...

been recognized nearly two dozen times by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for broadcast excellence in radio news.  In his spare time, Walt plays guitar in the Flat Broke Blues Band and has played concerts and festivals around the Upper Great Lakes region for over two decades. Mike Plourde has broadcast high school sports in the central U.P. for nearly a decade, doing play-by-play, hosting player and coach interview shows and doing feature reporting on area athletes and programs.  Mike is retired from the Michigan Department of Corrections and is an expert marksman with firearms of all sizes.  He is also a self-professed “Gastronomic Guru” in the kitchen and loves to cook.
Ben Smith Ben Smith


Ben Smith is the Girls Varsity Basketball Coach and the Boys and Girls Golf Coach at Marquette Senior High School.  Ben graduated from MSHS in 1995 and began his teaching career at MSHS in 2000.  Ben was named the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan 2010-2011 Coach of the Year.

Eric Dompierre Eric Dompierre


Eric Dompierre, who has Down syndrome and turned 19 before the season, was granted a waiver to allow him to play. His high school football team, Ishpeming capped one of the best seasons in school history by overcoming the odds to win the Division 7 state championship.  They were featured in Sports Illustrated.

John Kivela


John Kivela is the Mayor of Marquette, and was first elected to the Marquette City Commission in 2006. Reelected in 2009, he began his second term in office as well as his second year as mayor. He was born and raised in Marquette, and has been a businessman in the community for several years. Prior to joining the Commission, Mayor Kivela served as chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals from 2000-2006.

Doug Garrison


Doug Garrison is a Marquette advertising company owner who also hosts a local live television show. It’s the Doug Garrison Show, featuring local talent and events each week. People from the audience are included in the taping, and he uses the opportunity to meet and showcase people in the community doing creative and unique things.

Regina Robinson


Regena Robinson of Negaunee was crowned “Mrs. Michigan International” in March of 2012. Robinson is the News Director for TV6 & Fox UP as well as an active community volunteer for many national charitable efforts.  She has led youth poetry workshops at several schools, book drives and fundraisers with her sorority Alpha Kappa Read More...

Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, fed the homeless through the Salvation Army for the past four years and served as a Women’s International Day volunteer.  During her reign as Mrs. Michigan International, Robinson will continue to promote her platform of Literacy: Bridging the Gap between traditional literacy in youth and social media literacy in adults with the non-profit, The World Poetry Agency.
Cynthia Thompson


Cynthia Thompson, News Director and 5:30 p.m. News Anchor at ABC10 – CW5, and has a history of more than two decades in Upper Michigan and in the media. Cynthia holds Broadcasting & Film and Speech Communication degrees from the University of Central Missouri. Read More...

After several years in radio news, Cynthia came to the Upper Peninsula in 1988 to join her husband at K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base. That same year, Cynthia started her television career as a reporter and news anchor at WLUC-TV 6 in Negaunee, Michigan. Since 1996, Cynthia has held a variety of radio and television positions including announcer, commercial spokesperson, consultant and managing short and long-term promotions.
Vicky Crystal


Vicky is a morning news anchor on WLUC TV 6. She began her career with WJPD radio in Marquette in the early 1980s and became involved with TV6 through the MDA telethons. Vicky has co-hosted our MDA Telethons for the past four years. Read More...

Vicky spends most of her free time with her daughter and is active in her church.
Greg Trick Greg Trick


Greg started with TV6 as a reporter in April of 1991. He worked his way up to Weekend News Anchor, then to the Late and News Tonight posts. He currently co-anchors the TV6 Morning News. Greg has a B.S. in economics from the University of Illinois – Champaign-Urbana and a master’s degree Read More...

in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before coming to TV6, he worked at WKOW-TV and WMTV in Madison, Wisconsin. Greg enjoys traveling and sampling food from around the world.
Chris Ostrowsky


Head Football Coach for Northern Michigan University. Chris was named head coach after spending two seasons as the offensive coordinator. He has 15 years of coaching experience; Chris was the quarterback coach, recruiting coordinator and passing game coordinator at Northeastern University in Boston. Read More...

At Widener University in Pennsylvania, he was the offensive coordinator where his offense established 27 new school records. His squads were back-to-back South Atlantic ECAC Bowl Champions. Chris is also the director of the Chris Ostrowsky Quarterback/Receiver Camp. He was the guest speaker at the Nike Coach of the Year Football Clinic twice.
Dieter Kochan Dieter Kochan


Dieter Kochan, former goaltender for the Houston Aeros, Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild and the Vancouver Canucks, was the first ice hockey player to be called up directly from the UHL (United Hockey League) to the NHL (National Hockey League).  Kochan announced his retirement in 2007 after playing the 2006-2007 season with the Aeros. Kochan is now a Michigan State Police Trooper with the L’Anse MSP Detachment.

Jeff Olson Jeff Olson


Ishpeming’s head coach, Jeff Olson, may have been in his 21st year of running the program, but the decision (to punt or go for it) didn’t come easy. He called time out and gave it thought. He reckoned that if his team went for it and failed, Loyola would be just 19 yards from scoring a touchdown; and afterwards, there wouldn’t be much time left on the clock. Read More...

Olson ordered the punting unit onto the field. Except that his players openly voiced their disagreement. “C’mon coach,” they pleaded, “we’ll get it.” In another time and place, the notion of the players disagreeing with Coach Olson — at the end of the biggest game of their lives — would have been laughable. And the notion of the coach relenting would have been funnier still. But in this sweet and bitter and wonderful and terrible upside-down, mixed up football season, it somehow seemed right. Soon the time diminished to zero, Ishpeming had won the state championship. The players stormed the field and began the mother of all dog piles. On the field, Coach Olson took to a knee and then fell headfirst to the ground. For four months he’d held it all together, in the face of almost unimaginable tragedy. The entire fall was like one protracted staring contest with his emotion. Now, finally, he blinked. Actually, he broke down, sobbing convulsively while smiling with disbelief. When the players saw their coach brought, quite literally, to his knees with emotion, well, most of them lost it, too. On this day anyway, there was crying in football. It was pointless to try to distinguish the tears of joy, the tears of anguish and the tears of relief. So they all just cried.
Ryan Gordon 


Ryan Gordon is a PGA Professional in Norway, MI. The PGA of America comprises 27,000 men and women professionals with one singular goal in mind – to make the game of golf more enjoyable for you.

Brad Nelson


Brad Nelson is the Boys Basketball Coach at Marquette Senior High School. Brad is wildly popular with the players, parents and students due to his commitment and dedication to the school and the team. Leading by example, his student players have gone on to become well-rounded academic athletes.

Eric Johnson Eric Johnson


Eric Johnson is Wayne State University Golf Champion 2011-2012 and Wayne State University Golf Co-Captain. He has been named a co-captain twice before in his career, was Wayne State University’s lone representative at the NCAA Championship last season. Read More...

Johnson was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team.  A 2007 graduate of Marquette Senior High School, Johnson was a four-year letter winner for the Redmen.  He finished second in the Upper Peninsula finals in 2007 and earned medalist honors in the Great Northern Conference in 2007, qualified for Michigan Junior Amateurs in 2006, and was second alternate in 2005.
Jason Welch


Jason Welch played Division I collegiate hockey at both Lake Superior State University and Northern Michigan University, where he received the Best Forward, Unsung Hero and Senior Leadership Awards.  He went on to play minor professional hockey in the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL), the International Hockey League (IHL) and East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).  Read More...

He was selected for U.S. Olympic Touring Team, led the team in scoring and was named MVP. He was also selected for the U.S. Olympic Festival in Denver, Co. After his career in hockey, he enlisted with the Michigan State Police and is currently the Lab Director of the MSP Marquette Forensic Laboratory.
Scott Erickson


Scott Erickson was inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. Winner of a record five Upper Peninsula Golf Association men’s championships, Scott Erickson won numerous tourneys across the U.P. from 1972-95. Read More...

The former Ferris State University golfer was medalist in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament in 1976 and 1978 and all-district MVP. He was Newberry Golf Club champion six times, was Marquette Golf Club champ four times and won the Newberry Open four times.

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