Michigan Coaches: James Bennett and Jerry Lasceski Inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Class of 2016

June 27, 2016


"Coach Bennett began his coaching career in 1974 at Grosse Ile High School in Grosse Ile, Michigan, as an assistant boys’ golf coach and a teacher of Mathematics. He was the assis-tant coach until 1980 when he took over the reins as their head golf coach – a position he held until he retired in 2003. Twenty-four years as head coach and 30 total years as a golf coach, during those years as a head coach, his teams won 17 league championships, seven regional titles, and five state championships. They had a regional record of 375-74, win-loss. In 1997 he also began serving as an assistant coach for the girls’ golf program. That was a position that he held for eight years, and during that time the girls’ team won five state titles and finished a state runner up two times. I mentioned that he retired in 2003….but in 2007 he came out of retirement because the girls’ season in Michigan was changed to the fall…and the girls did not have a coach. For the next eight years he coached the girls to a 117-4, win-loss record and three more state titles and more state runner up finish to go with five more regional titles. He coached golf for a total of 38 years. He has served the Michigan golf coaches as the boys’ state finals manager since 2004. He has also served the National High School Coaches Association as the Golf Chair for six years. In addition he has spent 10 years on the Michi-gan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association Board, and he has been on their golf all-state selection committee since 1997. He has been name national golf Coach of the Year by the National High School Federation and by the National High School Athletic Coach-es Association. He was inducted into the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2005 and was also inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006. Tonight he will be inducted into the National High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Coach Bennett has been married to his wife Patti for 40 years, and they have one daughter – Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, PHD.

From the state of Michigan – Coach James Bennett."


"Coach Lasceski graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree that he earned, attending when he was able to, as he worked his way through. He began his coaching career in 1965 at Akron-Fairgrove where he taught and coached the Vikings until his retirement in 2006. Bet he then continued to coach two more years after he retired from the classroom. He taught business and coached boys’ track and field. He started their cross country program in 1970 and coached the boys’ team through 2007. He coached the girls’ program during the same time frame with the exception of years 1980-1988. His boys’ track and field teams earned 12 conference championships, six regional titles, 2 state run-ner up finishes and two state championship titles. He had 63 all-state, and 12 state individu-al champions. Twice he was named Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year. His boys’ cross country team had ten top 10 finishes, one state runner up finish, and they were state champions one time. He had 15 all-state runners and one state champion runner. His girls’ cross country team had seven top 10 finishes and one state champion team, there, too, he had one state champion runner and eight all-state runners. He was named section Coach of the Year four times, and he was named Coach of the Year one time. He has received the "Thumb of Michigan Sports Leader" award. He has been inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and the track at Akron-Fairgrove High School has been named in his honor. He currently serves as treasurer of the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association, has been a registered track and field and cross country official for over 40 years, and his enjoying retirement.

Coach Lasceski and his wife (of 53 years) Suzanne have two children: Daughter Nina who is a Sister in the Order of St. Benedict, and son Marc. Marc and his wife Natalie have given Coach Jerry and his wife three grand children.

From the state of Michigan, Coach Jerry Lasceski."


National High School Athletic Coaches Association

Coach of the Year, Class of 2016

National Finalist List


Mike Garvey
Athletic Director
Hackett Catholic Prep


Dan Griesbaum
Grosse Pointe South


Jim DeBruyn
Girls' Basketball
G.R. South Christian


Dave King
Girl's Cross Country
Beal City


Asa Kelly
Boy's Cross Country
Benzie County Central


Jim Bennett
Grosse Isle


Cheri Ritz
Wayland Union


Greg Phill
Livonia Stevenson


Judy Hehs
Academy of Sacred heart


Richard Bauer
Boys' Track


Brandon Day




National High School Athletic Coaches Association

Coach of the Year Winners


John Cunningham
Special Sports


Jodi Manore
Girls' Volleyball



2016 NHSACA Coach of the Year finalists

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