After receiving her bachelor's degree from Purdue University in 1947 and her master's from Wellesley College in 1950, Betty spent one year at Washington University before embarking on her illustrious career at Albion College in 1951.
A professor emerita of physical education, Coach Beese taught for twenty-eight years and coached five different sports during her tenure. Combined, she coached forty-six athletic seasons: twenty-one in synchronized swimming, seventeen in archery, four in tennis, three in volleyball and one in softball. Betty's 1954 tennis team won the WMIAA Championship and she was Albion's first softball coach in 1977.
Betty also has been very active in her community, receiving the American Red Cross 50 Year Service Award. She has played a vital role in the Ambulance Service as a board member, attendant, dispatcher, driver and instructor. Her interests include gardening, photography and woodworking.
As a three-sport athlete, Lou participated in cross country, football and basketball at Albion and was a member of two MIAA Championship basketball teams in 1946 and 1948. In his senior year he was selected to the All-MIAA team, was captain of the team and was the MIAA student representative. Lou also played professional basketball for the Detroit Vagabond Kings for two seasons. Lou played football in 1945 and ran cross country in 1946 and 1947. In 1962, Lou founded Lou Black and Associates, in Chicago, Illinois, where he continues to serve as president. He lives with his wife Mickey in Skokie.
One of Albion's finest tennis players, Dale lettered all four years at Albion College, was selected the team's Most Valuable Player all four years and was voted the team captain for the 1958 and 1959 seasons. In 1958 he received the MIAA's first Stowe Memorial Award, presented to the conference tennis player who epitomized outstanding sportsmanship. Dale also played in the National Junior Tennis Circuit, traveling to Florida, California and Texas.
Following graduation from Albion, Dale received his master's and doctorate from Michigan State University and has been a professor of physical education at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro since 1971. He has authored eighteen books and is considered an expert in the field of sports and educational leadership. He continues to play tennis two to three days a week. Dale and his wife, Barbara Stewart, '60, reside in Greensboro.
Russell was Albion College's first premier hurdler, lettering in the high hurdles 1926, 1927, 1928, and was a member of the 1928 MIAA Championship track team. However, it was in the role as the manager of the 1927 football team that Russell etched his name in Albion College athletic history.
On Thanksgiving Day, 1927, during the game against Western State Teacher's College, injuries to many of the players left the Britons short-handed. As team manager, Russell had learned the signals in practice. This day, however, he was called on to leave the sidelines and enter the game. The accomplishments of the manager-turned-player were described in the following day's Battle Creek Enquirer, “Courtright romped into the game, caught five punts without a fumble, ran back kickoffs, blocked and tackled like a veteran and staved off a couple of normal rushes for scores that might have seen Albion beaten worse than the final 19 to 0 victory that they scored.”
Russell lives in Portage with his wife Esther.
Jerry's impact in two varsity sports during the 1940s was remarkable. He earned All-MIAA basketball honors in 1948 and played on MIAA championship teams in 1946 and 1948. In his senior year, Jerry led the team in scoring, established the single season scoring record and was selected Most Valuable Player. In track, he was the 1947 MIAA Champion in the 120 high and 220 low hurdles, and set school records in both events, as he led the Britons to two consecutive MIAA Championships. He also served a term as the MIAA student representative.
Upon graduation from Albion, Jerry entered the University of Michigan where he earned his D.D.S. in 1952. This past September he retired after forty years of owning his own practice in Adrian, Michigan. He has involved himself in dozens of community activities including the American Cancer Society, United Way, Ducks Unlimited, Elks, Masons and the Lenawee Country Club. Jerry lives in Adrian, Michigan with wife Mary Lou Yost Edwards, '48.
A four-time football letter winner, John still holds Albion College football records for the most touchdown passes received (10) in a single season and the most touchdown passes received (21) in a career. He was an All-MIAA Football and All State Small College Football Team selection in 1964 and 1965, with the Britons winning the MIAA Championship the same two years.
In 1970, John received his master's degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and was ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church one year later. Since 1990, John has been a pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Holland, Michigan, where he lives with his wife Sally.
Perhaps Albion's greatest soccer player to date, Jim led the team in scoring, was selected the team's Most Valuable Player for each of the four seasons he played and represented the team as captain his last three years. A four-year letter winner, he was selected the MIAA's Most Valuable Player and to the All-MIAA team in 1970. Jim returned to Albion College in 1975 to coach the Briton soccer team for a single season before completing his master's degree at Bowling Green State University in 1977.
Jim held positions at St. John's University and Mankato State University in Minnesota before taking his current position with Honeywell, where he serves as a human resources manager. He and wife Carol live in Richardson, Texas.
One of Albion's finest football players, Jim was drafted and signed by the Green Bay Packers following a career at Albion where he was selected as a Second Team All-American, a member of the All State Small College team, established Albion's career rushing record, co-captained the football team and received the team's morale award. He was also selected to the All-MIAA team for four years.
Since graduation, Jim has remained an avid outdoorsman with interests in biking, hiking, rafting and golf. He has climbed Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood and participated in three Outward Bound courses. Professionally, he was an officer and owner with Krueger International from 1962 through his retirement two years ago.
He splits his time between Wisconsin and Florida with his wife Janet Booth Hurd, '62.
A two-sport athlete at Albion, Al earned eight varsity letters in baseball and football for the Britons and was voted to the All-MIAA football team in 1952, the same year the team took MIAA Championship honors. In 1955 he received All-MIAA recognition in baseball and was the team's Most Valuable Player and captain.
Since graduating from Albion, Al has spent a lifetime in education. Upon earning his master's and doctorate degrees in educational administration from Michigan State University, he has taught history and economics at South High in Grand Rapids and served as the assistant principal at a middle school and high school in Grand Rapids. For ten years he worked as the dean of college services at Grand Rapids Junior College. For the past three years, Al has worked with the superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools on special assignments.
He lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Barbara.
Dick McNally has spent his entire career in education and athletics. Selected to the All-MIAA baseball team in 1958 and 1959, he led the Britons in batting and was the Most Valuable Player in 1958. In 1959 the Britons won the MIAA Championship in baseball, due in large part to Dick's efforts. In the spring of '59, he was invited to tryout with the Milwaukee Braves and Chicago Cubs.
Since graduating from Albion, he received his master's degree from Eastern Michigan University and embarked on a high school coaching career that has few equals. He has coached undefeated teams in football, basketball and baseball and has won five conference, ten district and a regional title in basketball. In 1977, he was selected Associated Press Basketball Coach of the Year in Wayne County and in 1983 was Michigan's High School Class D Football Coach of the Year.
He lives in Central Lake, Michigan with his wife Betty Joan.
As a two-sport athlete, Don excelled in football and baseball while at Albion. In football, Don was selected to All-MIAA and Honorable Mention All-American teams in 1957 and 1958. In his senior year, he led the MIAA in rushing and scoring and was selected to the All State Small College team. In baseball, Don was an All-MIAA selection in 1958 as he established the single season home run record.
After graduating from Albion in 1959, Don has spent his entire career in the telecommunications business. He worked for Michigan Bell for thirty-two years as vice president through June of 1992. While living in Michigan, he involved himself with different civic duties, including terms on the Board of Directors for the Urban League and the Eastern Michigan University School of Business Administration. He also served a two-year term on the Board of Trustees for the Michigan Colleges Foundation.
Since then, he has been with Telecom New Zealand and is group general manager living with his wife Nancy in Wellington, New Zealand.
Regarded as one of Albion's finest athletes ever, Melissa excelled in three varsity sports. “Wash” was an All-State selection in field hockey, basketball and softball and was voted captain of all three teams her senior year. The Britons did not lose a single conference field hockey match during her four years. In basketball, she was selected Co-Most Valuable Player in 1980 and still holds the career scoring record. In softball, Melissa continues to hold the league's single season record for runs-batted-in and was Co-Most Valuable Player in 1981.
Melissa has remained active in athletics following graduation, playing in three national field hockey tournaments representing the Great Lakes Region and officiating games for the Mid American and Big 10 Conferences. Currently, she is a Michigan State University doctoral candidate in sport history. Her dissertation is on women's athletics at Albion College and within the WMIAA.
Only the fourth team in Albion football history to go undefeated, the '69 Britons won the MIAA Championship with a perfect 5-0 conference record for first year coach Tom Taylor. The five conference foes scored only 23 points against the stubborn Albion defense, while the offense tallied an average of 22 points per contest, outscoring all opponents by a 177-68 margin.
Six members of the team were All-MIAA selections: Jim Bell, Craig Cossey, Jim McMillan, Al Kastl, Pete Dolan, and Tim Rod. Jim Bell was also selected as the team's Most Valuable Player, and Most Improved Player honors went to George Carr. The team was lead by senior co-captains Richard Bensinger and John Jenkins.
Other team members included James Brand, Dennis Brenner, Charles Brown, Bruce Demarest, Matthew Eldredge, David Egnatuk, Ronald Gifford, Roger Higgins, Rolfe Hillman, Charlie James, Alan Kastl, Scott King, Michael Klee, Steve Kline, Joseph Kosky, James Lear, James Martin, Kurt Maslowski, Thomas Morse, Jerome Muenzer, Thomas Myers, Kenneth Nemeth, Terry Newell, Terry Newton, Michael Perry, Robert Plantrich, Lee Porterfield, Coach Dennis Pysz, Christopher Rundle, John Salvadore, Robert Scholl, William Schueller, William Spencer, Paul Stevenson, Lawrence Teeter, David Thomas, Michael Walters, trainer Hiram Squires and Coach Robert Wikstrom.
The Britons not only brought home the 1979 MIAA Baseball Championship with a 9-3 league record, but were also the first team in MIAA baseball history invited to play in the NCAA Tournament.
Led by senior co-captains Michael Bivens and Doug Barcy and league batting title winner Tom Klus, the strength of team rested in a balanced attack. Barcy brought home MIAA Most Valuable Player honors for the Britons, and at the tournament, the Britons shocked top-seed Marietta College with a first round victory.
Barcy, Bivens, Klus, Joel Manby and Glenn Moug were all selected to the All-MIAA Baseball team, while David Benedetto was selected to the second team. It was Coach Frank Joranko's third MIAA Championship in his coaching tenure.
Other team members included Robert Atkins, Robert Behnke, David Benedetto, John Byrnes, Jeff Davis, Henry Gignac, James Haskamp, Dennis Lawson, Daniel Lewis, Wayne Mackenzie, John Massab, Michael Meyer, Kevin Mill, Stephen Mitchell, Jason Nowland, Ted Phairas, Richard Radatz, Randall Richardville, Robert Rose, Robert Sisson, Kevin Snyder, Steven Taylor, Wayne Toteff, Michael Yeager and Timothy Zeeman.