Kenneth C. Schuler, former head basketball coach and athletic director at Glen Oaks Community College, was honored on Saturday, January 9 in a ceremony prior to the highly-touted league game between GOCC and Lansing Community College. The Vikings beat conference favorite LCC, 72-67, in a fast-paced high-action game.
Many of Schuler’s former players and assistants turned out for the tribute to their legendary coach. Steve Proefrock, Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach, said, “Coach Schuler is respected by everyone, especially the many student-athletes he taught by example. Many of his players went on to have very successful careers and that is a testament to his success. His former players say he taught them discipline, work ethic and responsibility.” Several former players said Schuler “took boys and turned them into men” and “taught us that winning is more than season records or championships.”
Glen Oaks Community College announced a scholarship for basketball players in his name at the ceremonies and a large photograph of Coach Schuler will be placed near the gym entrance. Schuler coached the Vikings to several Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Championships and was honored in 1996 with induction into the Hall of Fame of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan for 519 victories in
30 years (408 at Glen Oaks). Schuler also received the Real Sports Award for 1995-1996 from the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region XII.
In the first years of Glen Oaks Community College, Schuler said his teams won invitational tournament titles playing on Constantine High School’s basketball court, as well as other venues. In the 1972-1973 season, the Vikings captured the league title after posting a 26-4 season (13-1 in league play). In 1978-1979, the Vikings were 25-5 on the season (12-2 in league play) and were co-champions with Jackson Community College. Schuler coached for seven years at the high school level before his 24 years at Glen Oaks. He returned to lead the Glen Oaks in 1995 as an interim coach for the Vikings.
Schuler recalled, “As I look back, at a time when I was young and full of vinegar, I am proud of the many student athletes I coached. Some players, like Jerry Edwards, went on to play as a professional or at four-year colleges and universities. Most of them have done very well in life and are lawyers, doctors, teachers, businessmen and even coaches. Many of them remain in this area of Michigan. In those earlier Glen Oaks days, we played well against the junior varsities of many big universities like Notre Dame and Michigan State University. Some of those players we competed against continued to turn in great performances for their universities.”