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  • Jim Townsend

Ron Green Named to MHSFCA Hall of Fame 2018 Class

Longtime Portland High School football coach Ron Green has been named to the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame 2018 class. He will be inducted during a ceremony that is set for Saturday, March 10th at the Crowne Plaza in Lansing.

According to the MHSFCA website, “The Hall of Fame was created to honor and recognize the individuals who have made significant contributions to the game of football in the state. These coaches, players, administrators and community members are largely responsible for the legacy that makes Michigan high school football an important part of our state culture.”

Green started teaching at the Portland Middle School in January of 1973, and moved to the high school around 1980. He says, “I taught for a total of 38.5 years and loved every minute of it. I only planned on staying in Portland for two years to get experience then move on to a high school job. This changed after I became the Portland Recreation Director (part-time position) in 1975. The more I got to know people in this community made me rethink my plan. I taught mathematics all those years from general math to calculus.”

Green’s initial career plans didn’t include coaching either. He said, “I really did not have any plans to do any coaching but being a middle school teacher did allow me to get involved with the lower level sports such as flag football, 7th and 8th grade basketball and middle school track. Eventually I started coaching at the high school level. I was an assistant and head coach for track, about 15 years off and on. I coached JV softball for seven years and varsity basketball one year. Coached basketball at the middle school for about six years and was a volunteer assistant at the varsity level first. I have coached football for 41 years holding every position except head varsity coach.”

For someone who coached high school football for 41 years, it may come as a shock to many that Green never player varsity football himself. Green said, “I came from an athletic family but I only played football my freshman year in high school. I played one year of JV basketball and three years of varsity tennis.”

Green fondly recalls the energy of coaching varsity football on Friday nights. He said, “My brothers always talked about the excitement of ‘Friday nights under the Lights’ and I would just pooh-poohed the idea as I have already coached JV football under the lights. Oh but they were right! My first game as the varsity assistant in 1990 was such a thrill and there is nothing better than football on ‘Friday nights under the lights’.”

As for when he was informed of his induction, Green says, “It was an emotional moment for me when I received the call that I was going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Going from a one-year high school football player - to never plan on coaching football - to now such a high honor is unbelievable for me. I am truly humbled and grateful. I have been fortunate to coach with many outstanding Portland football coaches who were patient and supportive as I learned.”

Green also expressed his gratitude to the wider Portland community. He said, “This community and school system has given me so much over the years.”

Green joins fellow Portland football staff member Jack Anderson who was inducted into the 2005 MHSFCA class. Anderson coached in the Portland High School football program for 31 years.

When asked about Green’s selection, Anderson said, “Ron is the consummate professional at all times. He was not going to have anyone outwork him. He spent hours and hours and hours on film.”

As for Green’s motivations, Anderson said, “He was in it for the right reason… the kids. He kept them in the forefront on every decision.” Anderson added, “He is a guy that anyone would be happy to have on his staff. Very deserving of this award.”

PHS Athletic Director Kevin Veale said, “Ron has been one of the most involved football staff members of all over the last 20 years. He is very hard-working, very loyal, and very dedicated. But most importantly, he is great with the kids and truly cares about them. He is a great example and leader for them and has a great heart. He is one of the most dedicated Portland Raiders I've come to know and respect over the last two decades here.”

Joining Green in the 2018 M.H.S.F.C.A. Hall of Fame class are:

Don Baxter – Napolean

Michael P. Centala – Monroe Jefferson

Randy Dunny – Saline

Mike Giannone – DeLaSalle Collegiate

Ron Glodich – Marine City

Jim Hunter – Onekama

Kevin W. Langs – Climax-Scotts

Chris Luma – Hudson

Marty Spencer – St. Ignace LaSalle

Paul A. Test – Ann Arbor Pioneer

Dennis Thompson – Onsted

David Thorne – Farmington Hills Harrison

Thomas Wilcher – Detroit Cass Tech

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