Intramurals celebrates diamond anniversary
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 22:08
A new school year at PUC means the return of the ever-popular intramural program. Unlike other years, however, this one brings with it a spirit of celebration.
This fall marks the 60th anniversary of intramurals at PUC. Although the current program offers many events throughout the school year, its beginnings were very different.
PUC’s intramural program began in 1952, when PUC hired physical education teacher Bob Hayes to start a program for students. The program started humbly that year as a makeshift basketball court was set up outside the building that would later be renamed Gyte. Within a few years, the program moved to the Hammond Armory and expanded to include baseball, ping pong and volleyball.
“Bob’s vision was to give the students something to do [on campus], and he made that happen with little to no resources,” current intramural director Matt Dudzik said.
In the ensuing decades, many different figures followed in Hayes’ footsteps and put their own stamp on the intramural program. Hayes has since retired and lives in Chattanooga, Tenn.
While Hayes began the program in earnest 60 years ago, the figure Dudzik credits with forming the intramural program PUC has today is Rob Jensen. In 2001, after the program had fallen on hard times and was down to two sports, Jensen, then the athletic director, established Dudzik’s current position to work on making it a big part of campus life again.
“[Jensen] fought hard to make this position a full-time position that solely focused on intramurals,” Dudzik said. “He had to [do] a lot of convincing to the administration that this position should be created in advance of the housing being built so we could get the program established.”
“I owe a great deal to Rob for not only working hard on [creating] this position but also having the confidence in me to develop the program,” Dudzik said.
To celebrate its diamond anniversary, intramurals will pay tribute to the days of Hayes by holding an outdoor H.O.R.S.E. tournament on Sept. 10. There will also be giveaways and contests to mark the event, the biggest of which will be a celebratory dinner and trivia night at Buffalo Wild Wings in Lansing.
All intramural leagues will return this fall, including volleyball and flag football, as well as one-night only events like the field goal contest and homerun derby. For the nonathletes at PUC, there will be events such as the eating contest, the intra-mural art contest, the new Uno tournament and the baking contest. As an added level of excitement, the baking contest will be featured in the Food Network Magazine.
Intramurals begin Aug. 30 with open play dodgeball in the gym at 7:30.