Tecumseh's Jim Gilmore receives Charles E. Forsythe Award
EAST LANSING — Tecumseh’s Jim Gilmore and Grandville’s Dave Hutton have made contributing to Michigan high school athletics their lives’ work over the last four decades. In recognition of their efforts, they have been named the 2013 recipients of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s (MHSAA) Charles E. Forsythe Award.
The annual award is in its 36th year and is named after former MHSAA Executive Director Charles E. Forsythe, the Association’s first full-time and longest-serving chief executive. Forsythe Award recipients are selected each year by the MHSAA Representative Council, based on an individual's outstanding contribution to the interscholastic athletics community. Hutton and Gilmore will receive their honors during quarter breaks of the MHSAA Class A Boys Basketball Final on March 23 at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing. Gilmore will receive his award during the break between the first and second quarters, and Hutton will receive his during the break between the third and fourth quarters.
Gilmore served four school districts over a 37-year career before retiring in 2008. He coached and taught at his alma mater Grant High School before moving on and eventually serving as athletic director at Kalamazoo’s Barbour Hall Academy (while also assisting at Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central High School). He was the athletic director and coached at Morenci High School and then served as athletic director at Tecumseh High School. Gilmore was named to the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004 and also served that school year as president of the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Hutton has coached the Grandville High School boys golf team for 42 seasons and also started and led the ice hockey program for 18. His golf teams have posted a 520-180-9 dual meet record, made the MHSAA Finals 20 times and won Class A MHSAA championships in 1976 and 1988. His hockey teams over two stints as coach amassed a record of 212-189-23 with two Regional titles and a Division 1 Semifinal appearance in 2001, his second-to-last season coaching that sport.
“Jim Gilmore and Dave Hutton have made long-standing contributions to their respective sports and communities. Their dedication and high regard for school athletics are signified by their decades of work,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts said. “Their continued efforts – Dave Hutton as a coach and MHSAA Finals director, and Jim Gilmore with the MIAAA – show that for both, this is a life-long commitment. We’re proud to honor Jim Gilmore and Dave Hutton with Forsythe Awards.”
Gilmore coached football for 25 years at Grant, Barbour Hall and Morenci, and baseball for 15 seasons. He served on MHSAA site and officials selection committees for seven sports and as president of both the Tri-County Conference and Southeastern Conference. He was instrumental in renovations during his tenures at Morenci and Tecumseh and also wrote the athletic code book that established academic standards for Morenci athletes.
Gilmore also has volunteered in various capacities in his church and communities, and remains active in the MIAAA as part of the past presidents council and the awards and lifetime member committees. Gilmore received his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in 1975 and followed with graduate studies both at WMU and Eastern Michigan University.
“It’s something I wanted to do even when I was in high school,” said Gilmore, noting former Grant High principal, athletic director and football coach Ray Rynberg as a key mentor. “I was just watching what he did, and it was something I was really interested in as a kid. Participating in athletics, and then having the opportunity after finishing school to coach and be an athletic director, that was really something I enjoyed immensely.”
Hutton served as a member of the Michigan Golf Coaches Association Board for 24 years – and as president in 1984 and 1994 – and has directed a combined 18 boys and girls MHSAA Golf Finals. He was named Michigan golf Coach of the Year in 1977 by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association, Midwest Regional Coach of the Year in 1988 and the NHSACA’s national Coach of the Year in 2001.
He also was recognized as the MIGCA Coach of the Year in 1976 and 1988 and as the Michigan High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1977 and 1989. He was inducted into the MIGCA Hall of Fame in 1993 and the MHSCA Hall of Fame in 2002.