Nick Carlin-Voigt ’04

Nick has been selected by College Soccer News as one of the top 15 Division I  assistant coaches in the country. He is entering his third season as men’s soccer assistant coach at UCLA. Nick is considered one of the top recruiters in the country. In his first year with the Bruins he helped lead the team to its second consecutive PAC-12 championship. In his second season he led the effort to bring in the No. 1 ranked recruiting class. And, this past off season, he again helped bring in the consensus No. 1 ranked recruiting class.

Dennis Frost

Dennis is the Wen Chao Chen Associate Professor of East Asian Social Sciences at Kalamazoo College. His article “Sporting Disability: Official Representations of the Disabled Body at Tokyo’s 1964 Paralympics” was recently published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science.

Ed Coyle ’74

Not long ago BeLight learned about Ed’s untimely death. He passed away on November 27, 2012, due to a stroke. He was very active in sports during his time at K, playing football and running track and field. He was a political science major and earned a teaching certificate. Ed had a varied career as a teacher, insurance broker, and computer salesman. He had many health issues culminating with a kidney transplant in the year before his death. Ed is survived by his sister, Helene Lapp, and he is missed by his two sons, Ed and Andy Coyle, and his 4 grandchildren, Maelynn and Gage Coyle, Caleb Coyle, and Kaiya Singleton.


Sarah Colegrove ’89

Sarah fulfilled a lifelong dream when she completed a solo swim of 21 miles across Lake St. Clair. She did the swim on August 7, and it took nine hours and 27 minutes. Colegrove is a lifelong swimmer (including her tenure as a member of the Hornet swim team), and she has competed in several triathlons, including three Ironman competitions. Lake St. Clair’s 21-mile distance is the same as that of the English Channel. Sarah works as an attorney and lives in Grosse Pointe, Mich. She plans to swim the Straits of Mackinac next year.

Vic Braden ’51

Vic died on October 6, 2014. He was 85 years old and arguably the most well-known graduate of Kalamazoo College. He matriculated to K from Monroe (Mich.) High School, where he had been a multi-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball, and tennis). He was the first high school tennis player to win the state singles championship three times. At K he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology and played on the Hornet men’s tennis team. He served as team captain his senior year, the same year he took the MIAA singles championship. He also was MIAA doubles champion in 1949 and 1951. After graduation he was the assistant basketball coach at the University of Toledo, and he played on the professional tennis circuit. Vic moved to California and earned his master’s degree in educational psychology (California State University). He began study for his doctorate in psychology (USC) but discontinued that work in order to become the chief tennis professional at a tennis club. It was in the teaching of tennis that Vic achieved his international renown. In 1971 he started the Vic Braden Tennis College in Coto de Caza, Calif. That effort later expanded to include campuses in Florida and Utah and traveled throughout the United States, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and China. He taught thousands of players and lectured in all 50 states. His players included champions like Tracy Austin, and yet he seemed to have a special spot in his heart for the average weekend hacker. He combined humor and psychology to make every student as proficient as she or he could be. Vic hosted a tennis instructional show on public television in the early 1980s that was carried by 238 stations. He appeared on NBC, made instructional videos, and authored eight books. The New York Times obituary (“Vic Braden, Tennis’s Pied Piper, Dies at 85,” Douglas Martin) noted that “Mr. Braden’s forte was psychology, which he thought could nearly work miracles. He told Sports Illustrated that if he were given eight good 13-year-old players–‘I don’t mean great athletes,’ he specified–he could have all of them in the Wimbledon quarterfinals at 18. Such improbable success, he said, would involve learning to think differently. ‘The moment of enlightenment,’ he said, ‘is when a person’s dreams of possibilities become images of probabilities.’” In recognition of his lifetime achievements, Vic was presented an honorary degree from his alma mater in April of 2008. He is pictured (center, in the photo at left) at that event, held in Stetson Chapel, with the late Professor and Coach Emeritus George Acker (left) and Professor of Physical Education and Volleyball Coach Jeanne Hess.

Scott Whitbeck ’04

Scott was the “Coaches’ Confidential” spotlight subject in the November 9 issue of SwimSwam. Scott is the head coach of the SUNY-New Paltz men’s and women’s swimming teams. He’s been at the college for seven years and has led his swimmers to numerous school records, All-American honors, and NCAA championship qualifying swims. In 2011 he was named Coach of the Year in the Division III State University of New York Athletic Conference. Says Scott, “As I get older the biggest joy I have in this job is not necessarily in watching the team go fast at a duel or championship meet, but in seeing the athletes accomplish something they didn’t think was possible and grow in the process.” There’s lots more in the interview, including nice mention of his alma mater. At K he majored in economics and business and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain.

Bobby Pennington ’01

Bobby (and, to a lesser extent, the extraordinary streak of consecutive conference titles by the Hornet men’s tennis program) is the subject of a short feature on the Colgate University Raider website. Bobby is in his ninth season coaching both the Colgate men’s and women’s tennis squads. “I was fortunate enough to play four years for the Kalamazoo College men’s tennis team,” he is quoted. He was captain his senior year and part of an All-American doubles team with partner Andrew Minnelli ’01. Bobby’s major at K was English.

Bronx to ’Zoo

To get from the Bronx to Kalamazoo College in the fall of 1952, Herb Lipschultz ’56 traveled by train. But the real ticket to his attending K was football. He’d been the captain of the team at Dewitt Clinton High School and he wanted to keep playing.

Herb Lipshultz ’56 during his Hornet playing days

“If I hadn’t played football I wouldn’t have gone to college,” Lipschultz admits. “That was the real reason I went—just to keep playing.”

And play he did, often on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Barring injury, he started every contest from the third game of his freshman year to the end of his four seasons at K.

When he graduated the question became how could he remain in the game? Coaching was an obvious answer, and he did that for many years. But the most effective path to gridiron longevity was becoming a football referee.

Lipschultz first put on a striped shirt the autumn of 1956, and he’s never stopped. This past fall, at age 80, marked the 59th year he’s spent his autumns throwing yellow flags and blowing a whistle.

“He’s been one of our top officials for a long, long time,” says Mark Uyl of the Michigan High School Athletic Association. So good, in fact, that Lipschultz was named the winner of the 2001 “Vern Norris Award,” an honor given to one official each year.

“I just enjoy being with the kids,” says Lipschultz, who has lived in Portage since 1960. “Football has been a big part of my life.”

And a busy refereeing life it is. From late August through October he typically works middle school games on Wednesdays, junior varsity games on Thursday, varsity match-ups on Friday, and Rocket football on Saturday.

Football is clearly Lipschultz’s first love, but it hasn’t been the only sport he’s officiated. Until he was 60 years old, winters meant refereeing boys’ basketball, which Lipschultz did for 38 years. He has umpired girls’ softball even longer: the spring of 2015 will mark his 41st year.

Has he ever been hurt while officiating? “Oh, I’ve been knocked down a few times in football games. But the only time I was really injured was in a girls’ softball game in 2013. A foul tip came back and hit me on my collarbone. Broke it. I ended up missing half of my football season that fall.”

His long presence on those Southwest Michigan football fields seemed unlikely 60 years ago. In fact, until a chance conversation with a high school friend, the likelihood Lipschultz would attend K and make Kalamazoo his home was essentially zero. “There was a guy ahead of me at Clinton High who mentioned he was going to K. I thought he was kidding. All I knew of Kalamazoo was the song. I wasn’t sure it was even a real place. Of course, for me it turned out I really did have ‘a gal in Kalamazoo’ because that’s where I met my wife.”

The idea of attending K quickly dissipated after that chance conversation. If fact, as late as mid-August following his senior year at Clinton, Lipschultz had no intention of coming west.

“No, I was going to Rhode Island,” says Lipschultz. “I had a full ride scholarship to play football there, and I was all set to go. But I had a friend, Donny Isaacson, who was going to K and he said it’d be nice if the two of us went to the same school. So I sent in my transcript to K, but that was mostly just a lark. I wasn’t seriously thinking about going there.

“But then the day after Labor Day,” he adds, “I got a phone call from K’s football coach, Dob Grow. He encouraged me to come, and the College offered $300 in academic financial aid. I talked to my dad about it and even though I wasn’t going to have to pay a penny to go to Rhode Island, he encouraged me to at least think about K. So I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll go to K.’”

Two days later Lipschultz was on a train to Kalamazoo. Two days after that was K’s first football game of the season. He didn’t play a down. He was okay with that, but he most definitely was not okay with never leaving the bench in the second game.

“I was kind of cocky then, and I thought, ‘I’m out of here!’” Lipschultz recalls. “But our quarterback calmed me down and said I should at least finish the semester.” That proved to be good advice; by the third game Lipschultz was starting.  And unless he was injured he started every game for the next three and a half years.

Lipschultz also came to appreciate his first year coach. “Dob Grow was one of the finest men I have ever met. I put him second behind my father for having an influence on me.”

Lipschultz had more than a few adjustments to make after arriving at K. His high school was all male and was considerably larger than K, which he recalls as having only about 550 students at the time. Certainly moving from the Bronx to a small Midwestern town was a change.

“I honestly remember the crickets keeping me awake at night.”

“I was used to cars honking and the elevated lines making a lot of noise all hours of the night. But in Kalamazoo it was so quiet. I honestly remember the crickets keeping me awake at night.”

Lipschultz admits football was a different game in the 1950’s. “Almost all of our linemen were under 200 pounds. And I didn’t have a facemask on my helmet until my senior year. We called them ‘birdcages.’”

His facemask consisted of a single bar, and even that was never used in a game.  During a preseason practice it broke and gashed Lipschultz’s face. “I said, ‘To heck with that’ and never used a facemask again.”

While at K, Lipschultz went by his birth name of Lipschitz. That was an uncommon name in Michigan, but, “There were a lot of Lipschitzes in the Bronx back then. Three full pages in the phone book.” But because the name’s second syllable provided fodder for teasing, he and his wife, Laverne (who goes by the nickname “Toots”) changed the name to Lipschultz just before their first child started school.

Another Clinton High grad made a similar change. “There was a guy a year or two behind me named Ralph Lifshitz. He later changed his name to Ralph Lauren.” Two other students of note who attended Clinton during Lipschultz’s time: actor/writer Garry Marshall and actor Judd Hirsch.

After Lipschultz graduated from K, he took a job with Oakwood Schools as a physical education teacher. “Oakwood was a separate system back then. Grades K through 9. But it merged with the Kalamazoo system the next year.”

He remained with the system for 40 years, retiring in 1996. During that time he was involved in the athletic lives of thousands of middle schoolers—teaching, coaching and serving as athletic director.

Lipschultz can display an amazing memory for people and events. About games played decades in the past, he can remember the score and who made the big play. About former students, he can often recall an anecdote.

Recalling his early years in the schools, he says, “It was a different world back then. The kids didn’t do any weight training because we didn’t have any weights. I had to convince the administration to buy some. Our basketball team would take taxis to the other schools because we didn’t have school buses. If a basketball game went into double overtime, it was sudden death. And middle school football was touch, not tackle.”

Another change related to taking showers. “Until about 1980 the kids took showers; always after football or basketball practice and a usually after gym classes. But then they stopped taking them. Even after football practice, when they were all dirty and sweaty, they’d just put on their street clothes and go home. For a while I made them shower, but the administration told me they couldn’t back me up on that so I stopped.”

A change he considers unfortunate: “Over the years teachers got less and less support from the parents. And the kids knew it.”

Kick off means this octogenarian is off and running.

Lipschultz’s ability to remain so active is due in no small part to his passion for fitness. Virtually every day involves some type of workout. Three or four times a week he goes to the YMCA, where he waterjogs, lifts weights, rides a spin bike, and  uses kettlebells.  He took up golf when he was 63 and still plays up to four times a week when weather permits.

His activities have allowed him to keep his weight under control. “I was 166 pounds when I showed up at K; I’m a little less than that now.”

Managing his height has been a different story. “I’ve gotten shorter,” he says with a laugh. “I’ve gone from about 5’ 8” to 5’ 4”.  My wife complains that she can’t wear her highest high heels anymore because they make her taller than me.”

Herb and Toots have four children, one of whom, Tyler, graduated from K in 1989 (and, naturally, played football). They also have seven grandchildren, some of whom are twice as old as the football players Herb referees.

All of her husband’s officiating has meant some level of sacrifice for Toots. “He’s gone a lot. And it sometimes means having dinner either real early or real late.”

But she’s also gotten a few laughs along the way. “I remember being at a basketball game he was working. I was there with the wife of his partner, and the man behind us starting yelling at the refs. I finally turned around and told him we were the refs’ wives. He didn’t say a word after that.” |

When asked how much longer he plans on refereeing, Lipschultz smiles. “I’m just taking it a year at time.”