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Notre Dame Prep’s Wroubel, Midland Dow’s Schwartzkopf, Brother Rice’s Braisted earn national coach of the year honors from NFHS Coaches Association

By: Matthew B. Mowery, January 16, 2019, 5:30 pm

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Betty Wroubel was among three Michigan coaches honored as national coaches of the year in their sport by the National Federation of High School Coaches Association, the group announced Wednesday.

Wroubel, who is also the softball coach and athletic director at NDPMA, was named the national volleyball coach of the year for 2017-18. Birmingham Brother Rice’s Leon Braisted III was the boys golf national coach of the year, while Midland Dow’s Terry Schwartzkopf was the boys tennis coach of the year.

"I am, of course, honored to receive such an award from the NFHS, but for me it’s actually a tribute to all of the great students-athletes I’ve had the opportunity to coach here at Notre Dame," Wroubel said in a press release from the school. ”I’ve also been lucky to be able to coach with awesome assistant coaches during my career who have made it possible for our program to thrive and succeed."

The NFHS selects coaches of the year in the top 10 sports (by participation) for each gender, choosing from the pool of sectional coaches of the year. Each of the three Michigan coaches honored were first selected as state coach of the year, then as the coach of the year for the Central Section, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Under Wroubel’s watch, Notre Dame Prep won volleyball titles in 2007, 2013 and 2017, and came one match shy of a repeat in the fall.

“It (the honor) specifically recognizes those who are leading their sport, shaping their athletes and contributing in a positive way to the community," said Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations. "It is our pleasure to recognize Betty as a leader and a role model, and for her many contributions to the youth of the state, community and school.”

Braisted was inducted into the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame in 2015 after 17 seasons at Birmingham Seaholm, coaching both the boys and the girls.

Brother Rice finished seventh at the 2018 Division 1 boys finals at GVSU’s The Meadows in June. Braisted’s Seaholm girls won Division 2 titles in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Schwartzkopf’s Chargers won five straight Division 2 tennis titles from 2009-13, and another in 2016, before sharing runner-up honors in 2017. The Chargers finished fifth at this fall’s D2 finals at Hope College.

[Photo courtesy Notre Dame Prep]