posted August 11, 2009

DeVos Fieldhouse Recognitions

Hope College is recognizing five couples who have played significant roles in the life of the college by naming portions of the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse in their honor.

Russ and Doris DeVette, Bob and Marcia DeYoung, Ray and Sue Smith, Glenn and Jackie Van Wieren and Tom and Carole Renner are honored for their decades-long service to Hope.

"These are five very special couples who have had an extraordinary impact on the Hope and Holland communities with their career-long commitments," said Dr. James E. Bultman, president of Hope College.  "We honor them as couples because each in their own special way has been a team that has had a profound impact on generations of Hope students."

"Hope is a better college and Holland is a better community because of their contributions to our quality of life," he said.  "Their lives have been marked by a commitment to professional excellence, service to others and fulfilling with distinction the mission of Hope."

The main basketball gymnasium is being named the "DeVette-Van Wieren Gymnasium," the volleyball gymnasium is being named the "DeYoung Volleyball Gymnasium" and the weight room is being named the "Smith Weight Training Center." Press row at center court of the main gymnasium honors the Renners.

° Russ DeVette and Glenn Van Wieren together total nearly 60 years as head coach of the men's basketball team.  DeVette was the coach from 1948 to 1951 and from 1956 to 1977, and Van Wieren, one of DeVette's former players, has been coach since 1977.

DeVette, who is a 1945 Hope graduate, taught or coached at Hope for nearly 40 years, from 1948 until retiring in 1988 as professor emeritus of physical education, with three years away in the 1950s to serve with the U.S. Marine Corps and on the faculty of the University of Maine.  Over 24 seasons, his basketball teams captured nine MIAA championships and one NCAA regional crown.  He was also head football coach from 1955 to 1969. At times during his career he was the head coach in three sports during a single school year (football, basketball and baseball). He also coached the women's track & field team.

Van Wieren, who graduated from Hope in 1964, began coaching at Hope in 1966, was away while he completed his doctorate, and returned as a member of the faculty in 1973.  He has guided the Flying Dutchmen to a record 17 MIAA championships and appearances in 20 NCAA Division III post-season tournaments.  Hope finished second in the nation in 1996 and 1998, and placed third in 2008.  A professor of kinesiology, he has also coached baseball, cross country and soccer.

° Bob DeYoung was the college's chief fundraising officer for 26 years, from 1974 until retiring in 2000 as vice president for college advancement.  He had been at the college since 1965, serving first as associate director of admissions and then as dean of men, dean of students and vice president for student affairs before moving to advancement.  A 1956 Hope graduate who was a student-athlete himself, he taught and coached in the Whitehall, Mich. schools immediately after graduating from the college.

° Ray Smith came to Hope from California as head football coach and a member of the physical education (now kinesiology) faculty.  He coached Hope football for 25 seasons, longer than any other head football coach in the MIAA, and entering his final, 1994, season he was the eighth-winningest coach in NCAA Division III history.  His teams won nine MIAA championships.  He served as director of athletics for men from 1980-2009. He retired at the end of the 2008-09 school year.

° Tom Renner is associate vice president for public and community relations at Hope, where he has been employed since 1967.  He developed and directs the college's overall program in public and community relations.  Since joining the staff he has also served as sports information director for the college and was league publicist for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) for 40 years. In 2004 he received the "Hall of Honor" award from the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) for his service on behalf of the game of basketball. In 2006 he received recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow from the Holland Rotary Club for service and humanitarian efforts in Holland and for Hope College.