Betty Wroubel began coaching as a middle schooler during the mid-1960s, when she organized, found a sponsor for and coached with a summer softball team that competed against surrounding cities.
She’s coached something every year since – and a whole lot more.
This week she’s leading Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s volleyball team as it chases what would be a fourth MHSAA Finals championship – the Fighting Irish take on Detroit Country Day tonight in a Division 2 Quarterfinal. She’s the third-winningest coach in MHSAA volleyball history, with a record of 1,634-327-132 since beginning her varsity coaching career at alma mater Clawson during the 1978-79 winter season.
But that’s just the start, and Wroubel has been part of Michigan’s girls sports rise and growth since the beginning.
She played basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis and ran track at Clawson before graduating in 1971, a year before Title IX was enacted. She then played volleyball, tennis and field hockey all for multiple seasons at Central Michigan University, graduating in 1975.
Wroubel returned to Clawson and coached basketball, volleyball and softball, then moved on to what was then Pontiac Catholic and later Oakland Catholic, and then Pontiac Notre Dame Prep when that school was formed beginning with the 1994-95 school year.
She’s led Notre Dame Prep’s volleyball team to Finals championships in 2007, 2013 and 2017 and coached Pontiac Catholic to the Class C softball championship in 1983 – the same year she earned her master’s degree from Michigan State University. Wroubel has led teams to a 908-310-41 record on the diamond, ranking among the state’s all-time winningest softball coaches as well.
But again, her coaching contributions – which are incredible – are only part of what Wroubel has given to athletics.
After previously serving as athletic director at Pontiac Catholic, she has served as athletic director at Notre Dame Prep since Fall 1994 and over the years has filled roles as assistant principal and co-chairperson of the health and physical education department, and taught sports medicine and leadership classes. She was named the state’s Athletic Director of the Year in 2020 by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. She also received the MHSAA’s Women In Sports Leadership Award in 2016 and an MHSAA Allen W. Bush Award in 2010 for her behind-the-scenes work in school sports.
Wroubel has received various national Coach of the Year honors, including from the American Volleyball Coaches Association in 2007 and National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association in 2019. She is a member of various Halls of Fame – she’s been inducted by the Detroit Catholic League, Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association, Michigan High School Coaches Association, Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association and the Michigan chapter of the United States Specialty Sports Association.
Second Half's weekly Title IX Celebration posts are sponsored by Michigan Army National Guard.
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Oct. 26: Coach Clegg Sets Championship Standard at Grand Blanc - Read
Oct. 19: Rockford Girls Set Pace, Hundreds After Have Continued to Chase - Read
Oct. 12: Bedford Volleyball Pioneer Continues Blazing Record-Setting Trail - Read
Oct. 5: Warner Paved Way to Legend Status with Record Rounds - Read
Sept. 28: Taylor Kennedy Gymnasts Earn Fame as 1st Champions - Read
Sept. 21: Portage Northern Star Byington Becomes Play-by-Play Pioneer - Read
Sept. 14: Guerra/Groat Legacy Continues to Serve St. Philip Well - Read
Sept. 7: Best-Ever Conversation Must Include Leland's Glass - Read
Aug. 31: We Will Celebrate Many Who Paved the Way - Read
PHOTOS Betty Wroubel confers with her team during the 2017 Class B Volleyball Finals weekend at Kellogg Arena. (MHSAA File Photo.)