Kowalczyk-Fulmer was honored at the annual MHSCA banquet on Nov. 4 at the Ramada Lansing Hotel and Conference Center.
Kowalczyk-Fulmer led the Buccaneers to the Class A state semifinals two years ago, then guided the Bucs to a state championship last year.
“I’m very humbled to receive this award,” Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. “I’ve been so fortunate over the past 15 years here at Grand Haven to have great players and great coaching staffs.
“The trophies and the awards are a validation of the efforts, but it’s more about the relationships and the experiences you have along the way.”
“This is a well-deserved honor for Coach K,” added Grand Haven Athletic Director Robin Bye. “She is a well-respected coach among her peers and officials.”
According to the MHSCA, each individual sport association submits names of coaches they want to see honored at the annual banquet. Selections are based on the coach’s team performance of the past year or their entire career, or simply on the coach’s contribution to their association over the years.
“This award goes well beyond wins or championships but, is a reflection of the program she has built,” Bye adds. “The girls in her program have excelled in the classroom, community and on the court. We are very proud and fortunate to have Katie as an valued member of the Grand Haven coaching staff.”
Kowalczy-Fulmer is now putting her efforts into making another run toward the state finals. The Bucs began tryouts last week Monday. However, they’re without several key contributors who are still contributing to Grand Haven’s varsity volleyball team, which will play in the Class A state quarterfinals on Tuesday at Coopersville.
“The first week went really well,” Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. “Our program looks great from top to bottom. Now we’re waiting to get our post players back so we can work on our offense. We’re running eight-player drills.
“Hopefully the volleyball team wins a state championship on Saturday and we’ll have everybody back next Monday.”
Fruitport varsity volleyball coach Nicole Bayle was also recognized as a Coach of the Year by the Michigan High School Coaches Association.
Bayle led the Trojans to back-to-back Class B state championships in 2010 and 2011.
This fall, the Trojans moved up to Class A and suffered a second-round loss to Mona Shores in the district tournament.