Vic Michaels, CHSL director, receives MHSAA's Al Bush award for statewide contributions

Catholic High School League director Vic Michaels, right, shakes hands with Royal Oak Shrine basketball players after the team's CHSL C-D championship win at Calihan Hall in Detroit on Feb. 16. Michaels was recently named one of four statewide recipients of the MHSAA's Allen W. Bush Award, which honors individuals who have served high school athletics with distinction. (Tim Fuller | Special to Detroit Catholic)

DETROIT — Vic Michaels, director of the Catholic High School League, has been named a recipient of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Allen W. Bush Award for 2019.

The award, named after Al Bush, who served as executive director of the MHSAA for 10 years, honors individuals for their service to prep athletics as a coach, administrator, official, trainer, doctor or member of the media. This is the 28th year of the award, with selections made by the MHSAA's Representative Council.

“I am honored to receive this award named after Al Bush,” said Michaels, who has served as director of the Detroit Catholic High School League since 2003, the longest-serving director in Catholic League history and one of only seven directors since its formation in 1926.

“What he meant to the advancement of athletic programs in public and non-public schools in the MHSAA while serving as the executive director was tremendous,” Michaels said of Bush.

Michaels, 64, came to the Archdiocese of Detroit's league office as associate director in 1995 after serving as athletic director, assistant principal, teacher and coach at Center Line St. Clement since 1978.

He coached St. Clement's boys varsity basketball team from 1978-95 and the girls varsity from 1980-85, earning Coach of the Year recognition leading both programs. He was named Catholic League Athletic Director of the Year in 1988 and inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame in 1990.

As director of the CHSL, Michaels oversees all aspects of competition for 27 schools across 30 sports, in addition to the Catholic Schools' Office of Health, Athletics, Physical Education and Safety.

He provides expertise at the statewide level, as well. Michaels has represented non-public schools on the MHSAA Representative Council since 2003 and serves as the council’s secretary-treasurer and as part of its executive committee.

He served as president of the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association in 2008 and also has held roles of vice president, secretary and board member. He’s served as coordinator for the Southeast Michigan Leagues Advisory Council and on various MHSAA sport and officials selection committees.

Michaels was named statewide Athletic Director of the Year by the MIAAA and received a regional award from the National High School Athletic Coaches Association in 2010 after previously being chosen for MIAAA regional recognition in 2001.

Michaels graduated from Detroit St. Ambrose High School, then attended Detroit Institute of Technology and finished his bachelor’s degree at University of Detroit Mercy. He earned his certified athletic administrator designation from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

“Vic Michaels is as good a leader as we have in high school sports in our state,” MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said.

“While he represents the private and parochial schools on the Representative Council, he works with everybody and sees the big picture — but also can get to a granular level with our rules, which he knows inside and out. He is one of the most insightful voices in Michigan educational athletics.”

The award will be presented in November at the CHSL Athletic Directors meeting.

Also receiving the award this year are Brian Gordon, athletic director at Novi High School; Jean LeClair, of Bronson, fifth-winningest volleyball coach in state history; and Kevin Veale, athletic director of Portland Public Schools.