Gruppen named new WMC athletic director

Tribune Staff • Dec 4, 2018 at 12:50 AM

The Western Michigan Christian administration didn't have to look far to find a suitable candidate for their opening at athletic director.

The Warriors' varsity boys basketball coach, Kurt Gruppen, applied for the job and received rave reviews from the hiring committee.

On Monday, the school announced its official decision to add athletic director to Gruppen's title.

"I am extremely honored to announce that Mr. Guppen has agreed to become the next athletic director at WMC," Principal Samuel Greer Jr. said.

"Mr. Gruppen has shown himself to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ and a gifted administrator. I'd like to give a special thanks to Kurt for his leadership during a very unique period of the academic school year. I am very excited and trust Kurt will lead the athletic department with a spirit of excellence."

Gruppen, who will continue as the boys' basketball coach and a teacher at WMC, has been interim athletic director since former AD Josh Glerum took a position as athletic director at Zeeland East.

Before coming to coach at WMC more than two years ago, Gruppen was head women's basketball coach at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill.

The 2009 graduate of Trinity Christian College came to Trinity from Malone University, an NCAA Division II school, in Canton, Ohio, where he served as an assistant coach for four seasons with Malone's coach Tim Walker, who was Trinity's men's coach from 2002-09.

Along with his duties in all aspects of the varsity program, he also coached the junior varsity squad at Malone.

In addition to his time at Malone, Gruppen was the men's assistant coach at Trinity in the 2009-10 season and an assistant varsity boys coach at his alma mater, Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville in 2010-11.

During his senior year playing for Trinity, the Trolls made it to the NAIA National Tournament.

He was named all-conference three times and was Player of the Year for the 2008-09 season.

Gruppen also received NAIA All-American recognition while at Trinity and in 2009, received the NCCAA Pete Maravich Award, the top honor for a men's basketball player.

Gruppen, along with his wife Karley, sons, Kaleb and Luke, and daughter, Mollie, resides in Spring Lake.

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