By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
From time to time, we receive news of the passing of people who have played major roles in the near-century history of MHSAA athletics. Below are notes on a few who left us this summer but made major contributions.
Ray Haack, St. Joseph – Haack taught and coached at Reese High School before serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, then was employed by St. Joseph High School from 1946-86. According to his obituary, Haack built a 198-86 record coaching the Bears’ boys basketball team from 1951-66. He led the 1951 and 1953 teams to Class B championships. He died July 6 at the age of 96.
Ralph Locke, Albion – Locke was an MHSAA registered official for 38 years, for basketball during his entire tenure and for football beginning in 1986. He officiated a number of MHSAA tournament contests, mostly in football but also boys basketball, and worked Semifinal and the Class AA Final for football (Detroit Catholic Central 27, Rockford 23) in 1998. He died July 29 at age 61.
Bill Newton, Farmington – Newton led Farmington to an unexpected first MHSAA ice hockey championship in 2014, his first season as varsity coach, as his team upset reigning champion Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood in the Quarterfinal. His teams finished 44-33-4 over three seasons with a league title this past winter, and he resigned at the end of last season in part to continue his fight against cancer, according to a report by the Farmington Observer & Eccentric. Newton had previously coached as a varsity assistant for four years and junior varsity assistant for two, the report said. He died Aug. 6 at age 55.