MUSKEGON — The Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame announced its 27th annual induction class Dec. 9, composed of three members. All three have connections to the White Lake area.
Legendary Western Michigan Christian basketball coach Jim Goorman is the first inductee. Goorman won more games as a coach than anyone in Muskegon-area basketball history, recording 510 victories during 33 seasons. Goorman retired after the 2012 season, ending a career in which he led the Warriors to five state championships and three runner-up finishes.
Goorman’s son, Jeremy, is a physical-education teacher and former coach at Montague High School. Currently, the younger Goorman is a basketball referee, a job he has done for over 20 years.
“We have a lot of pride in our dad being the winningest coach in Muskegon-area history,” Jeremy Goorman said. “I was a varsity coach for seven years and I have this perspective and look at it in awe, how many years he put in and how successful he was.”
Spring Lake native Jack Sprague will also be inducted. Sprague had a successful career in various divisions of NASCAR, including three Truck Series championships in 1997, 1999 and 2001. He was the first driver to ever win three such titles. Sprague also raced in the Nationwide series and the Sprint Cup series during his career. Prior to those accomplishments, though, Sprague was a track champion at two local tracks, Thunderbird Raceway and Winston Speedway, before moving south to participate in pro motorsports.
The final inductee is the 1994 Holton girls’ volleyball team, the first squad in the Muskegon area to ever win a state championship in volleyball. The team had finished runner-up in 1993 before rising all the way to the top the following year, defeating Pewamo-Westphalia in two straight games in the finals. The team’s coach, Ed Bailey, was a principal in the Whitehall district for several years, and helped engineer a partnership between Ealy Elementary School and Alcoa-Howmet. The two organizations celebrated the 15th anniversary of that partnership in May. Bailey is currently the volleyball coach at Western Michigan Christian.