Note: This is the second in a series profiling the members of the 2015 induction class of the Port Huron Sports Hall of Fame.
Mary Kay Baribeau’s accomplishments as the Port Huron Northern girls tennis coach are what are getting her into the Port Huron Sports Hall of Fame.
It’s what happened after those girls left her, however, that is her biggest source of pride.
“The thing I’m most proud of is that the kids continued to play – the fact they enjoyed the experience and it helped them in their life,” Baribeau said. “When you hear that, that makes you the most proud. All the coaches give 100 percent to their teams, but I had a lot of talent. I was privileged to be able to sit back and watch them and their talent be on display.”
Baribeau is one of seven inductees – six individuals and one team – in the 2015 class. She will be inducted on Oct. 24 along with Marshall “Duke” Campbell, Randy Shagena, Daryel McCarrel, Dave Forstner, Jacqueline “Jackie” Jeffrey and the 1970 St. Clair County Community College men’s golf team.
The induction banquet will be held in the Atrium at the student center at SC4. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. This year’s guest speaker is former Denver Broncos offensive lineman George Geoddeke. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased by Saturday at the Palmer Park Recreation Dept., ForSports in Fort Gratiot, from any Hall of Fame Board member, by calling Sherry Artman at (810) 989-5560 or online through SC4 (a link can be found at http://www.phsportshalloffame.com/banquet.html).
Baribeau was an assistant at Northern on Al Wright’s staff through most of the 1990s, helping the Huskies to state titles in 1996 and 1997. She took over the program in 1998, and won state titles in 1999, 2000 and 2002.
Northern was 113-15-7 under Baribeau, and she was named Class A Coach of the Year by the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association in 2000. She’s a member of the MHSTCA Hall of Fame.
As her former players continued to play and enjoy the sport, her former program continued to enjoy success, as the Huskies have remained a state power, winning a state title in 2013.
“It’s wonderful,” Baribeau said of the continued success. “A lot of the kudos goes to the tennis house and their staff, they take the kids at a young age and groom them, so by the time they come to high school they’re very familiar with the sport and have a lot of talent. That makes all the area programs strong.”
Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @PaulCostanzo.