GHHS varsity basketball coach Hewitt dies

UPDATED: Buccaneers' coach collapsed while jogging Tuesday afternoon.
Matt DeYoung
Jul 9, 2014

Steve Hewitt’s friends knew him as a health fanatic who took care of himself almost obsessively.

That’s why it came as such a shock to those same friends when they learned that Hewitt, who served as Grand Haven High School’s varsity boys basketball coach the past nine seasons, died on Tuesday.

He reportedly collapsed during an afternoon run at Hofma Park in Grand Haven Township. Hewitt was 50 years old.

“He went out for a run and collapsed,” said GHHS Principal Tracy Wilson. “Somebody else was out there and happened upon him and called 911. He was transported to North Ottawa (Community Hospital) and passed. Obviously, the assumption is it was a heart attack, but I don’t know if it’s official.

“I’m shocked. Disbelief. Sadness. It’s a very, very sad day for the family. Steve is somebody who took care of him self health-wise, activity-wise, and spiritually. He was a very, very good person.”

Hewitt, who worked as a counselor at Grand Haven High School, is survived by his wife, Kate, and three sons: Will, a graduate student at Grand Valley State University; Cam, a senior at Hope College; and Drew, who will be a junior at Grand Haven this fall.

Few were closer to Hewitt than Grand Haven varsity girls basketball coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer. The two shared a passion for basketball and spent countless hours working together to further both the boys and girls programs at Grand Haven.

“I’d go talk to him every single day during my planning hour. I’d go in and we’d talk basketball,” she said. “He’s just a great person. He worked so hard at basketball. He was a great counselor and a teacher, but his passion was basketball. I don’t think people know how much he helped me, how much he helped the girls program. He was always coming into my practices, even if it was for only 20 minutes. If I needed help with a zone offense, I’d ask Steve. He’s a basketball geek. He loved it.”

Hewitt spent the last 15 years coaching basketball at Grand Haven. He took over as the varsity boys head coach in 2005, after longtime coach Craig Taylor retired.

Hewitt’s death comes just a few short months after the passing of Grand Haven athletic director Robin Bye. Bye died April 12 after a long battle with cancer.

Former Buccaneer basketball player David Ekkel said Hewitt’s impact went well beyond what was taught on the basketball court.

“I played for him my freshman and senior year at Grand Haven, and appreciated the chance he gave me as well as the life lessons that he taught,” said Ekkel, a 2006 GHHS grad.

The Grand Haven Area Public Schools Crisis Team will be available to assist any students or staff in need of support beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the high school.

Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

bbgh133

We lost a good man today. Prayers to the family.

DBoychuk

Thoughts and prayers to the Hewitt family. As a coach at Spring Lake it was great to be part of the great rivalry between us and Grand Haven. Coach Hewitt always carried himself with the utmost class. It will be difficult not seeing on these sidelines this winter. Rest in peace ad God bless your family.

TheBee

You can say that again.

DBoychuk

Thoughts and prayers to the Hewitt family. As a coach at Spring Lake it was great to be part of the great rivalry between us and Grand Haven. Coach Hewitt always carried himself with the utmost class. It will be difficult not seeing on these sidelines this winter. Rest in peace ad God bless your family.

TheBee

You can say that again.

DBoychuk

Thoughts and prayers to the Hewitt family. As a coach at Spring Lake it was great to be part of the great rivalry between us and Grand Haven. Coach Hewitt always carried himself with the utmost class. It will be difficult not seeing on these sidelines this winter. Rest in peace ad God bless your family.

owell

What a tragedy. What a wonderful man and a beautiful family.

Letsbehappy

Many heart felt prayers of encouragement and support to the Hewitt family, the GH basketball players and athletes,the supportive staff that he worked with and the many lives that he has played an important role in. Stand strong and continue on with the great tradition that he has made at Grand Haven.

JamHan3

A true gentleman who was a great role model.

TooMuch

Devastating to say the least. My heart and prayers go out to Kate and family. All of them are a class act all the way. A true tragedy to have lost such a great man who loved his family so much.

zwesterhouse

Very devastating. Just so hard to understand. Seeing so much of this lately with people who eat right and take care of themselves are passing away faster than the morbidly obese people who never go to the doctor.

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.