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Edward R. Vandervoort Memorial Award

The Edward R. Vandervoort Memorial Award has been awarded annually by the Club since 1953 to someone who is neither a current MSU athlete nor current MSU coach; has done much to advance the status of athletic teams representing schools/colleges within his/her surrounding community, and exemplifies community encouragement for the finest things in athletic endeavors. The award is named in honor of the late Edward Vandervoort of Lansing who contributed so many fine services to athletics in the Greater Lansing area.

2022 Recipient of the Edward R. Vandervoort Memorial Award

Mike Garland



Michael Quentin Garland was born on May 31, 1954 and grew up in Willow Run, a township east of Ypsilanti that was formerly known as Air Force Plant 31. The area was named this because of its original purpose as a bomber plant during WWII. It has been labeled a tough place -- a segregated community -- long before the civil rights movement mixed peoples of different cultures and backgrounds. Mike grew up there with his large family but without a father. Because of this, he learned early on how to deal with tough situations, how to avoid certain ones and how to become a man at a very young age. 

It’s crazy to imagine that in 1973, Mike’s college career would take him to Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula – crazy simply because, at that time, the U.P. was not necessarily considered a preferred destination for Afro-American athletes from the Detroit area. Clearly, Coach Glenn Brown at Northern Michigan U. saw something in Mike.  He had a good eye!

Fast forward to 1996 when Mike arrived in East Lansing to work alongside fellow college teammate and close friend Tom Izzo. Other than for 4 years when he served as head men’s basketball coach at Cleveland State, and then as an assistant at SMU, we have been extremely fortunate to have Mike and Cynthia name the Lansing area “home”.

Mike eventually met his father, Quentin Garland, but the man was never really a part of his life. Shortly after the senior Garland died, Mike vowed to be someone who would be there for others in need. Looking back nearly 40 years, Mike has served as a father-figure, confidante, counselor and friend to countless dozens of recruits, players and young people who have needed a listening ear.  Former player Cassius Winston was one who leaned heavily on Mike after his younger brother died. 

During his combined 22 years at MSU, Mike wore many hats including one that had little to do with X’s and 0’s. He was the team “storyteller”, which had a huge impact on those who listened. Josh Langford once cited that “Coach Garland has so much experience in all phases of life and his stories always have a meaning to them.” His former players have used the words inspiring, authentic, real, coach, mentor, counselor, teacher, leader, irreplaceable, and “OG” to describe him.

Three children and eight grandchildren later, it is clear that Mike has kept the vow that he made as a young man growing up in the Detroit area.

The MSU Downtown Coaches Club IS the official Booster Club of the Spartan Football program, however, we know real warriors and champions when we see them. Mike is both and we are proud to present him with the 2022 Edward R. Vandervoort Memorial Award!

1953 Ernest Shassberger

1954 Ralph Young

1955 Glen "Corky" Sanford

1956 Joseph R. Gwinn

1957 Charles R. Phillips

1958 Bruce E. Anderson

1959 Herbert Kipke

1960 Jack Heppinstall

1961 Clarence W. Lock

1962 George S. Alderton

1963 Walter Graff

1964 Archie F. Ross

1965 Fred England Jr.

1966 Charles Forsythe

1967 Clarence "Biggie" Munn

1968 Oz Hartley*

1969 Dr. James S. Feurig

1970 John Garver

1971 Al Vanness

1972 Russ Sheathelm

1973 Jack Stein

1974 Ted Abrams

1975 Dick Letts

1976 Jack Hornbeck

1977 Ernest Mary

* Awarded posthumously

1978 Duane Vernon

1979 Fred Stabley Jr.

1980 Clayton Kowalk

1981 Jim Adams

1982 Gil Haley

1983 Jack Draper

1984 Don Johnson

1985 Jim Holcomb

1986 Tom Jamieson

1987 Rev. Msgr. Jerome MacEachin

1988 A. Dean Watkins

1989 Bob Gross

1990 Bill Sharp

1991 Phil Irion

1992 Frank "Muddy" Waters

1993 Monte Story

1994 Bob Hoerner*

1995 Connie Mcauliffe

1996 John E. Demmer

1997 Cheri L. Krebs

1998 John Findley

1999 Dr. John Fuzak

2000 Kris Nicholoff

2001 Tom Chirgwin

2002 Roger Boettcher

2003 Lou Agase

2004 Jeff Smith

2005 Kellie Dean

2006 James Sinadinos

2007 Tony Noyola*

2008 Craig Stover

2009 Henry Bullough

2010 Wally Dobler

2011 Norm Gaffney

2012 Bill Demmer

2013 Dominic Carbone

2014 Richard Comar

2015 Robert "Bob" Knickerbocker

2016 Robert "Bobby" Popp

2017 Jerry Sutton

2018 John West

2019 George Perles

2020 [N/A - COVID-19]

2021 Dean Look

2022 Mike Garland

Recipients of the Edward R. Vandervoort Memorial Award

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