BORN: NOVEMBER 14, 1952, PONTIAC, MI
Karel Bailey was a true pioneer of girls
high school sports in the Muskegon area and the first female coach to be
inducted in the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame. Bailey, a Pontiac
native and a three sport star at Western Michigan University, begin teaching
and coaching at North Muskegon 1975.
Bailey first made her mark outdoors in track and field, leading the North Muskegon girls team for 13 years, winning three West Michigan Conference titles, two regional titles and state championships in 1977, 1979 and 1980. She is perhaps best known locally for turning the Norse into a state volleyball powerhouse during her tenure as head coach from 1984 to 2003. During that 19-year run, North Muskegon won eight WMC titles, 15 districts, six regional crowns, made to the Final Four four times and the state finals once. Her overall varsity volleyball coaching record was 386-225-31.
Bailey's influence has been felt far outside the city of North Muskegon. She's been a mentor for many area female coaches who sought her advice in a male-dominated profession. Bailey also has worked as a state volleyball official and as a major college field hockey official, as well as serving on a number of committees for the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
Bailey and her husband, Tony, live in North Muskegon, where she is still an active teacher and coach at the middle school level.
BORN: APRIL 23, 1961, REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN
The name Jock Callander still brings a smile
to the face of Muskegon area hockey fans, who remember him as a dominant
center on some of the great Muskegon Lumberjack teams of the early 1980's.
Callander first came to Muskegon a 1984 and helped ignite a golden era of
Muskegon hockey during his eight years here, where he was a local hero along
with likes of Scott Gruhl and David Michayluk. He topped the 100-point mark
during his first three years in town, highlighted by the 1986 Turner Cup
The Lumberjacks parent club, the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL, took notice of his talent and Callander spent time between Muskegon and Pittsburgh over the next five years. Callander led the Lumberjacks to another Turner Cup championship in 1989 and then was part of the Penguins' Stanley Cup championship team in 1992 which was coached by Scotty Bowman and included greats like Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Paul Coffey, Kevin Stevens and Rick Tocchet.
After the Lumberjacks moved to Cleveland in 1992, Callander continued to be a force after most of his contemporaries had retired. Callander played seven years in Cleveland and 18 years of professional hockey overall. He is the all-time leading scorer in International Hockey League history with 1,402 points, second all-time with 848 assists and third in league history with 554 goals.
BORN: APRIL 2, 1963, CHICAGO, IL
Konecny was the first player from the academic-rich Michigan Intercollegiate
Athletic Association to make it to the NFL. In doing so, the 1981 Mona
Shores graduate broke through the glass ceiling and proved that talent and
desire are more important than playing for a big-name college team.
One of the the top quarterbacks in Mona Shores school history, Konecny chose to attend Alma College. The Scots coaching staff converted him to running back and Konecny wasted no time making his mark, rushing for 941 yards in the 1982 season. In his senior year of 1984, he became the first Alma runner to top 1,000 yards, finishing with 1,059 yards, which placed him eighth in the nation in Division III. He also led the MIAA in scoring and punt returns, earning him first-team All-MIAA honors and honorable mention on the Division III All-American team.
Konecny started his pro career with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, but got his break in the NFL during the strike season of 1987. He joined the Miami Dolphins as a punt returner and averaged 7.7 yards per carry. His best professional season was 1988 as Philadelphia's punt returner. Konecny returned 17 kickoffs for 276 yards and 32 punts for 226 yards.
Konecny, who lives in Colorado, suffered a career-ending knee injury in the first exhibition game of the 1989 season while playing for the New York Jets.