The Lakers’ varsity football team has exchanged on Hall of Fame coach for another.
Longtime Lakers’ head coach and recent assistant coach Leo Rosencrants relinquished his position with the team this past offseason.
In his place this fall will be Tom Holden, who will head up the Lakers’ defensive unit.
Holden, a 2012 inductee to the Michigan High School Football Hall of Fame, has a long and illustrious coaching career, most of which took place at Spring Lake’s fiercest rival — Fruitport.
Lakers’ head coach Jerry Rabideau said he was thrilled to have Holden on staff this fall.
Holden, for his part, didn’t need much convincing to come out of retirement after not coaching last year.
“I coached with my son Daniel, who was going to get the head job at Newaygo,” Holden said. “We worked all during the winter, then he got the job as AD and assistant principal at Byron Center, so last year I dind’t have to coach.
“Then Jerry called me up.”
Holden takes over a talented Lakers’ defense that is switching from the 5-2 to a 4-3 look — a change made in response to a strong group of linebackers.
“These guys learn pretty quick,” Holden said during the first week of practice. “I’ve been to several different schools, and they seem to pick up pretty quickly. It’s a little bit complicated, but they’re getting it. If they don’t, then we’ll have to simplify it a bit.”
This isn’t Holden’s first stop at Spring Lake. He was an assistant under Tom Grabinski at Spring Lake, and also coached at Grand Haven and Grandville. His coaching career started at Central Michigan University.
Also joining the staff at Spring Lake this year are a pair of former Lakers — Adam Setterbo and McHale Smith.
Setterbo recently graduated from Michigan State, where he was a member of the Spartans’ football squad. Setterbo showed up at the Lakers’ photo day on Friday with some serious bling — his Big Ten championship ring.
Smith also boasts a championship ring — he helped guide St. Xavier University to the 2011 NAIA national championship.
Len Grimmer returns as the Lakers’ offensive coordinator.