The 2012-13 season marked the 125th anniversary of America's oldest collegiate conference. Click on this site for stories highlighting outstanding student-athletes, coaches and teams from throughout the MIAA's rich and vast history. Click here for more.



Calvin Hires Baseball, Men's Lacrosse Coaches

Calvin has announced the hiring of new head coaches for baseball and men's lacrosse.

John Rypel becomes the Knights' new baseball coach, while Kyle Hofstaedter is the new men's lacrosse coach for Calvin.

Rypel (pictured top right) comes to Calvin from Gordon (Mass.) College, where he had been the Scots' head coach the past four seasons. Gordon improved each season, from eight wins in 2011 to a school-record 19 victories and its best finish ever in the Commonwealth Coast Conference this past spring. Along the way, the Scots broke 23 school records, including team batting average and team earned run average.

Before coming to Gordon, Rypel was an assistant coach at Maryville (Tenn.) College for four seasons, serving at pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.

Hofstaedter (pictured bottom right) was an assistant coach at Eastern (Pa.) University for the past year, helping the Eagles win the 2014 Middle Atlantic Conference title and receive a bid to the NCAA Division III men's lacrosse tournament.

Previously, Hofstaedter spent three years as an assistant coach at Rollins (Fla.) College, where he was also director of lacrosse operations, and  two seasons at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa., serving in multiple roles as defensive coordinator, recruiting assistant, and equipment manager. 

A Dutch citizen, Hofstaedter is a three-time member of the Dutch national lacrosse team, and In 2008, he helped the Netherlands to a silver medal finish at the European Championships.

Click here to read more about John Rypel
Click here to read more about Kyle Hofstaedter.


Albion Hires Lawrence As Cross Country Coach 

Derick Lawrence, who guided the Trinity (Tex.) University men's and women's cross country teams to Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championships and berths in the NCAA Division III Championships in both his years at the helm, has been named head cross country and assistant track & field coach at Albion.

Albion athletic director Matt Arend announced Lawrence's hiring on Wednesday, July 16.

A 2007 graduate of DePauw (Ind.) University, Lawrence was selected the South/Southeast Region Women's Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013 after the Trinity women's squad captured back-to-back regional titles and later went on to finish 12th and 20th place at the NCAA Division III Championships, respectively. Both the men's and women's squads captured SCAC cross country championships for the first time in school history in Lawrence's first year as head coach in 2012 and achieved back-to-back titles in 2013.

Click here to read more about Derick Lawrence.


Hope Leads Division III In Basketball, Volleyball Attendance; MIAA Streak As Men's Basketball Conference Attendance Leader Ends

Hope College led all NCAA Division III colleges in men's and women's basketball attendance, as well as volleyball attendance, during the 2013-14 season.

In men's basketball, Hope drew an average of 2,459 fans for 13 home games at DeVos Fieldhouse to top all Division III schools for the 12th consecutive year and the 16th time overall. Wooster, Ohio finished second in attendance with 1,801 fans per game. Calvin placed eighth with an average attendance of 1,058 fans per contest.

Despite Hope and Calvin ranking in the top 10, the MIAA's streak of consecutive seasons as the men's basketball attendance leader among Division III conferences ended at 22, as the MIAA placed second with an average attendance of 702 fans per game. The College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) outdrew the MIAA with an average of 744 fans per contest.

In women's basketball, Hope led all Division III schools in attendance for the sixth consecutive year and seventh time overall, averaging 1,094 fans over 13 home games. Franklin, Ind. placed second with an average attendance of 967 fans a game.

In volleyball, Hope drew an average crowd of 867 fans over 14 matches to outrank Wartburg, Iowa, which finished second with an average attendance of 855. It was the fifth consecutive year an MIAA school led Division III in volleyball attendance. Hope led the nation in attendance in 2009-10, while Calvin was tops in 2011-12. Calvin placed third in attendance with an average of 743 fans over 17 matches.

Click here for complete NCAA men's basketball attendance figures 
Click here for complete NCAA women's basketball attendance figures 
Click here for complete NCAA volleyball attendance figures (click under "miscellaneous reports," then click "attendance") 


Penny Allen-Cook Assumes Duties as MIAA Commissioner

Penny Allen-Cook began her duties as the MIAA's ninth commissioner on July 1, 2014.

Allen-Cook brings to the MIAA a strong background in intercollegiate athletics as a coach, administrator and conference official.  From 2008 to 2012, she served as assistant commissioner of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), an NCAA Division II conference with most of its member colleges in the state of Michigan.

Allen-Cook spent nearly a decade in the MIAA as a coach and administrator at Alma College. From 1996 to 2002, she served as Alma’s head volleyball coach, posting a career record of 132-54 and leading the Scots to the first of what would be four straight MIAA championships during the 2001 season. She also served as women’s director of athletics, assistant athletic director and senior woman administrator during a period from 1997 to 2002, serving as Alma’s NCAA compliance officer.

Click here to read more about Commissioner Penny Allen-Cook.


MIAA Announces Academic Honor Roll, Team GPA Awards

The MIAA has announced its Academic Honor Roll and Team GPA Award recipients for the 2013-14 academic year, Commissioner David Neilson said.

A record total of 1,058 student-athletes earned recognition to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll by maintaining a 3.5 grade point average and lettering in their MIAA-sponsored sport. The list includes 70 student-athletes who achieved AHR recognition four consecutive years. Here is the list of the four-year Academic Honor Roll recipients:

Michael Atwell, Hope
Hilary Banning, Calvin
Austin Bateman, Albion
Amy Bell, Albion
Stephanie Bennett, Calvin
Katelyn Blumberg, Albion
Meredith Busman, Hope
Julie Busscher, Calvin
Parker Bussies, Hope
Catherine Calyore, Hope
Edward Carey, Kalamazoo
Danielle Carter, Calvin
Marissa Cloutier, Albion
Bradley Collins, Albion
Cara Conrad, Hope
Jillian Craig, Trine
Eric Dawson, Hope
Brett deBear, Albion
Jordan Diffenderfer, Saint Mary’s
David Dolfin, Hope
Courtney Earles, Hope
Anne Galus, Albion
Mark Ghafari, Kalamazoo
Haley Gitre, Albion
Joshua Gove, Alma
Rebecca Guntz, Albion
Holly Hall, Albion
Phillip Haywood, Hope
Stephen Healy, Calvin
Ashton Hearn, Calvin
Jack Jorgenson, Calvin
Joshua Kammeraad, Hope
Michael Korn, Kalamazoo
Brandon Krause, Alma
Daniel Kuehn, Trine
Mary Lang, Trine
Courtney Laux, Hope
Lauren Lenard, Olivet
Timothy Lewis, Hope
Jamie Lydick, Trine
Jenna Mayle, Olivet
Sheri McCormack, Hope
Nicole Michmerhuizen, Calvin
Kurt Miller, Albion
Kevin Olson, Hope
Nicol Parker, Adrian
Samuel Pederson, Hope
Alexander Perkins, Hope
Jeffrey Phillips, Trine
Adrienne Plourde (Jones), Olivet
James Rogers, Hope
Zachary Roth, Alma
Anna Sall, Alma
William Schmidt, Albion
Courtney Schmidt, Hope
Thomas Smeltzer, Hope
Alexandra Stephens, Kalamazoo
John Strikwerda, Calvin
Adam Sullivan, Hope
Drew Torey, Adrian
Thomas Tresh, Hope
Christina Uphaus, Trine
Amy Van Gessel, Adrian
Claire Van Raaphorst, Albion
Samantha Voss, Kalamazoo
Rachael Wagner, Olivet
Kristi Walker, Adrian
Grace Westerman, Alma
Rebekah Wissink, Calvin
Kristen Zietze, Calvin

In addition, 65 teams earned the MIAA Team GPA Award, which is presented to teams who maintain at least a 3.300 grade point average over the academic year. The list includes two teams - Calvin women's cross country and Hope women's cross country - who have achieved the Team GPA award 16 consecutive years, since the program was established in 1998-99.

Both the Academic Honor Roll and Team GPA Awards are administered by the faculty athletic
representatives of the nine MIAA member colleges.

Click here for the complete 2013-14 MIAA Academic Honor Roll
Click here for the complete 2013-14 MIAA Team GPA Award list 


MIAA Honors Top Senior Student-Athletes; Kalamazoo’s Ghafari Receives Deal Award, Calvin’s Michmerhuizen Wins Kovalchik Award

Awards by the MIAA to the outstanding senior scholar-athletes from its member schools during the 2013-14 academic year have been announced by Commissioner David Neilson.

Mark Ghafari of Kalamazoo College has received the Albert L. Deal Scholar-Athlete Award, while Nicole Michmerhuizen of Calvin College has been presented the Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Scholar-Athlete Award.

"Mark and Nicole have had marvelous careers these last four years in the classroom, on the field of competition, and as role models in our conference. Their selection for these awards from such an exceptional group of nominees is an achievement for which they should take great pride," Commissioner Neilson said.

The awards recognize senior class athletes who have excelled in academics and athletics, as well as displayed outstanding leadership in their respective communities. The awards honor two former MIAA commissioners, Albert Deal (1971-91) and Sheila Wallace Kovalchik (1991-2002).







Mark Ghafari

A native of Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., and graduate of Grosse Pointe University Liggett School, Mark Ghafari was a four-year varsity letter winner in men’s basketball for Kalamazoo during his career.

A shooting guard, Ghafari scored 1,444 points during his career, including a 24.0 scoring average in his senior year that ranked him seventh among NCAA Division III players. He finished fifth on Kalamazoo’s all-time career scoring list. He led the MIAA in scoring during the 2013-14 season, averaging 19.5 points per contest in league play, becoming the first Hornet to win the conference scoring title in 23 years. He set a school record for points in a game with a 46-point performance against Alma, and set another school mark by making 23 free throws in a game against DePauw.

A three-year captain for the Hornets, Ghafari was a two-time All-MIAA first team selection and was selected to the All-Great Lakes Region third team this past season.

Ghafari will graduate June 15 from Kalamazoo with a degree in economics, and currently carries a 3.793 grade point average. He was a four-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll and a two-time Capital One NCAA Division III Academic All-America men’s basketball selection, earning third team honors last year and being selected to the first team this year. He also was named to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan College Academic-Athletic Honor Team this year and last year and was chosen for the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court in 2013.

Ghafari also was involved in numerous campus and community activities at Kalamazoo. He was part of the college’s Athletic Leadership Team, which put together events for Special Olympics as well as a program at Woodward Elementary School in Kalamazoo. He was a President’s Student Ambassador for the college, representing Kalamazoo to alumni, donors, trustees and community leaders, and also volunteers as a class agent for the college’s Alumni Office. In addition, Ghafari tutored adults seeking to get their GED certificate through Goodwill Industries, and organized a men’s basketball community service program through Loaves and Fishes, a Kalamazoo nonprofit agency.

Mark Ghafari is the son of Dr. Georges and Louana Ghafari of Grosse Pointe Shores.

Other nominees for the Albert L. Deal Award were Andrew Torey of Adrian, Bradley Melpolder of Albion, Joshua Gove of Alma, Tyler Kruis of Calvin, Michael Atwell of Hope, Anthony Edwards of Olivet and Andrew DeGood of Trine.

Click here for the complete list of Deal Award recipients

Nicole Michmerhuizen

A native of Holland, Mich. and graduate of Holland Christian High School, Nicole Michmerhuizen was an eight-time letter winner as a student-athlete at Calvin, four in cross country and four in track and field. She was a five-time All-MIAA selection during her career, three times in track and field and twice in cross country.

In track and field, Michmerhuizen was a four-time MIAA champion, four-time national qualifier and three-time All-American. She won the women’s 10,000-meter run in 2012 and again this year, setting a new MIAA record in the event with a time of 35:35.10. She broke a 20-year-old MIAA record in the women’s 5,000 meters in 2013, posting a time of 17:08.23, and repeated as champion in the event this year at Field Day. She won the national championship in the 10,000 meters at last year’s NCAA Division III outdoor track and field championships and finished second in the event at this year’s nationals. She placed second in the women’s 5,000 meters at the 2013 Division III indoor track and field finals.

In cross country, Michmerhuizen won MIAA Most Valuable Runner honors in 2012 as she led the Knights to the conference championship, finishing 17 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor at the championship meet.

Michmerhuizen graduated in May from Calvin with a double major in chemical engineering and biology, finishing with a 3.99 grade point average. She was on the Dean’s List at Calvin all four years and a four-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. She has twice been named to the Capital One NCAA Division III Academic All-America Team in track and cross country – a third-team selection in 2012 and a first-team selection last year. She was earlier this year selected to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which she will use to pursue her Ph.d in pharmacology at the University of Michigan.

In addition, Michmehuizen received the prestigious Goldwater Research Scholarship last year, which she used to work with a Calvin professor to research DNA traits associated with a person’s predisposition to developing Type 1 diabetes. She has been published as first author on research articles in the Journal of Physical Chemistry and Biophysical Journal, and twice presented posters at the annual Biophysical Society meeting.

Michmerhuizen was also involved in campus and community activities as a Calvin student. She was a member of the college’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, volunteered for Special Olympics, served at a homeless shelter and was a Sunday School teacher. She also served on a student-advisory committee that evaluated candidates for an opening in Calvin’s chemistry department.

Nicole Michmerhuizen is the daughter of Mark and Tammy Michmerhuizen of Holland, Mich.

Other nominees for the Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Award were Kristine Walker of Adrian, Marissa Cloutier of Albion, Jaycee Cole of Alma, Sheri McCormack of Hope, Holly Cooperrider of Kalamazoo, Adrienne Plourde of Olivet, Mary Catherine Faller of Saint Mary’s and Haleigh Daniels of Trine.

Click here for the complete list of Kovalchik Award recipients