Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame announces class of 2021

Sports

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Bob Kaser, the longtime voice of the Grand Rapids Griffins, will be honored with the Warren Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame this year.

Kaser was announced as part of the class of 2021 on Tuesday. He has spent the last 22 years calling play-by-play for the Griffins. He also serves as the team’s vice president of community relations and president of the Griffins Youth Foundation.

Five other individuals and groups are also being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year:

Tom Werkmeister is one of the most dominant Michigan amateur golfers ever. He won more Grand Rapids area amateur championships than anyone else, including two Michigan Amateur titles. In 2013, he became the first amateur in 38 years to win the Michigan Open before going pro to play on the PGA Champions Tour.

Tia Brooks-Wannamacher was a standout in shot put at East Kentwood High School, went on to win an NCAA National championship at the University of Oklahoma in 2012 and then represented the U.S. in the Olympic Games in London later that year.

Kelly Butler started at Grand Rapids Union before moving on to Perdue University. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions and went on to play for the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz and Winnipeg Blue Bombers before retiring in 2012.

Beth Launiere is a graduate of Northview High School and Aquinas College. She began coaching volleyball at Ferris State University. She went on to earn acclaim as the coach for the University of Utah for the last 32 years, during which time she has racked up 16 NCAA tournament appearances and six conference titles.

The East Grand Rapids football team earned five straight state championships between 2006 and 2010 under the leader of Peter Stuursma, now the head coach for Hope College football. The teams matched the Michigan High School Athletic Association record for consecutive titles, posting a 67-3 record including 33 consecutive wins.

The date of the induction ceremony has not yet been announced.

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