Lauer, Dan1994 Jim Crowley Award Winner

‘94 Jim Crowley Award
To Dan Lauer

By Larry Sellers, Crowley Award Chair, Traverse City St. Francis

The Jim Crowley Award is presented in the memory of the late Jim Crowley, a great football coach and dedicated family man who stressed having fun, playing  hard and being dedicated to doing their best to the many  young men he coached in seventeen seasons at Jackson St. John’s and Lumen Christi High Schools.
    Dan Lauer, the 1994 recipient of the MHSFCA Jim Crowley Award, is a 1964 graduate of Michigan City High School in Indiana, where he starred as a two-way tackle; this earned him a scholarship to Evansville College (now known as The University of Evansville) where he played defensive tackle. In the fall of 1969 he received his first teaching and coaching position at South Bend St. Joseph High School where he taught business classes and coached as an assistant in football and track, becoming head track coach in 1971. As St. Joseph’s was across the street from Notre Dame University, Dan was able to observe one of the top college football programs in the country in an institution which combined academics, Christian beliefs, and football; he learned early on that there were victories to be won with players both on and off the field. He also learned that a coach may win or lose on the field, but that his real success is marked by his record with his players as they become successful in their lives. Thus his coaching philosophy was developed.
    In 1976 Dan took a position with the Benton Harbor Area Schools as the district’s Drug Education Coordinator and assistant football coach. He has worked for the district since then, assisting in track for nine years and as head football coach from 1979-1988. He had several successful teams and sent many players on to successful college careers. Since 1989 he has been assistant coach at Stevensville Lakeshore High School while continuing to teach at Benton Harbor.
    Dan has been involved with the MHSFCA for many years, beginning by assisting Terry Rose with clinic organization in 1978. He was instrumental in gettingthe clinic moved from a school setting to the current setting at Stouffer’s Hotel in Battle Creek. He has been involved in the All Star Game and he coached in the 1988 game. Dan was President of the MHSFCA in 1988.
    Married to his high school sweetheart for twenty-five years, Dan said that one of his greatest experiences was having the opportunity to coach his own son at Lakeshore.
    Coach Lauer has dedicated his life to teaching and helping other people. He is a team player and does things out of the goodness of his heart, often without recognition. He has been an excellent model for his players because of the way he has endured the personal and professional obstacles in his life. He has suffered though much physical and emotional pain in recent years, but he has persevered through his commitment to coaching, faith in God and hope for the future.
    Dan’s former players and administrators tell of a man who is a “players’ coach,” and an excellent model for his players, who has the ability to influence the hearts and minds of stu- dents, players and fellow coaches. He is a coach who has the ability to teach the fundamental components of the game in such a way that the players learn about life skills in the process. Perhaps one of his former players said it best when he stated that he is a, “better person just because I had the opportunity to know ‘Coach Dan.”’
Like Coach Crowley, this year’s recipient of the Jim Crowley Award is a leader of young men, a tremendous example to those he coached and a dedicated husband to his wife, Marilyn, and father to his son, Andy.