Robert T. Becker was a 1953 graduate of Arthur
Hill High School and worked for 30 years during SVSU’s
formative years, seeing the school grow from about 400 students
when he arrived in the business office in 1968, to a school with
400 student-athletes when he retired as the Athletic Director at
the end of 1998. He was the head coach of the Saginaw Valley State
College men’s golf team from 1969-1989 and guided the
Cardinals to 14 NAIA National Tournaments, including a runner-up
finish in 1984. He was selected as the “National Golf Coach
of the Year” in 1980, and was inducted into the NAIA
Men’s Golf Hall of Fame in 1986. As an Athletic Director at
SVSU, Becker oversaw 63 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic
Conference titles in 12 sports and five national championships.
Becker played a very influential role in the development of the
Ryder Center and remodeling of the Harvey Randall Wickes Memorial
Stadium. He was involved in luring the Detroit Pistons and Detroit
Lions to Saginaw Valley State to conduct their training camps
during the 1990’s.
Steve Brady was a golfer at Saginaw Valley State from 1977-80. Brady, who was a two-time all-conference, all-district selection and four-time team MVP, earned All-American honors in the 1980 season. Brady would go on to have a stellar professional career as well. He was a three-time medalist at the U.S. Open local qualifier and medalist at the U.S. Open Sectional qualifier in 1987. Brady played in 10 Buick Opens, and was the medalist at the Buick Open qualifier four different times. Brady played in the U.S. Open in 1984 at Winged Foot and at the Olympic Club in 1987, as well as three PGA Championships. He was named Michigan’s PGA “Player of the Year” in 1995, and set the PGA Tour record for a nine-hole score (30) at the 1984 Buick Open. Brady is a two-time Michigan PGA Champion and three-time Michigan Open Champion.
Gail Goestenkors was a member of the Saginaw Valley State women’s basketball team from 1981-85. Goestenkors was selected as an NAIA All-American in 1984 and 85 and was also named the Conference MVP in the 1985 season. She played in 126 career games as a Cardinal, scoring 1,158 points, while recording 469 assists and 348 steals in her career. Goestenkors was also a member of the Academic All-Conference Team. The team’s record during her playing tenure was an outstanding 114-13, highlighted by an NAIA National runner-up finish in 1984-85, as well as a third-place finish in 1983-84. Goestenkors’ career as a head coach spans over 18 seasons with Duke (1992-2007) and Texas (2007-present). In her 18 seasons at the helm of the Division I powers, she has led her teams to the NCAA Tournament the last 16, highlighted by runner-up finishes in the 1998-99 and 2005-06 seasons with Duke. Goestenkors, a seven-time ACC “Coach of the Year”, has also been named the Associated Press National “Coach of the Year” (2007), USA Basketball “Coach of the Year” (2006), Naismith National “Coach of the Year” (2003) and WBCA/Rawlings National “Coach of the Year” (2003) to go along with many other honors. Her overall record as a head coach is 460-134 (.779).
Eugene Marve was a member of the Saginaw Valley State football team from 1978-81. Marve was selected to the All-GLIAC team in 1979, 1980 and 1981, and was named an NAIA First Team All-American in 1980 and 1981. He ended his career with 299 tackles, 124 of which came in the 1981 season, and nine sacks. Marve was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 1982 NFL Draft. He played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Bills (1982-87), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1988-91) and San Diego Chargers (1992).
Norwaine Reed was an All-State basketball player at Detroit Southwestern High School. Reed also earned All-American honors at then Saginaw Valley State College, averaging just under 30 ppg in his final two seasons. As of 2010, Reed is fourth in school history in scoring, third in field goals made, fourth in free-throws made and seventh in career rebounds. In 1983, he began coaching Buena Vista High School, where he helped lead the Knights to four Class “B” State Championships and three runner-up finishes and a 346-79 (.814) record over the course of 22 seasons . His teams won 55 consecutive games over a two-year span, as well as 10 District Championships, eight Regional Championships and four State Championships. No other boys’ high school coach in Saginaw County has won more state titles than Reed.
Frank “Muddy” Waters was the man charged with building the football program at Saginaw Valley State in 1975. Prior to accepting the position, Waters had set a Division II record for consecutive wins at Hillsdale College with 34. Waters was selected as the 1957 NAIA “Coach of the Year”, as his team was recognized by the Washington D.C. Touchdown Club as the nation’s Outstanding Small College Football Team. At Saginaw, he led his team to its first GLIAC Championship in the 1979 season. In that year, he was voted the Michigan “Coach of the Year” for the eighth time in his career. During his time at Saginaw Valley, he also served in the capacity as Athletic Director. Waters was a four-time Chairman of the NAIA Football Coaches’ Association. He is enshrined in the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, Hillsdale College Athletic Hall of Fame, NAIA Football Hall of Fame, the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
The 1982 Cardinal men’s indoor track and field team captured the University’s first National Championship. A well-rounded and talented team that was led by head coach Doug Hansen put the, then Saginaw Valley State College, track and field program on the national scene. The 1982 team had 10 athletes recognized as All-Americans, and had six records, of the many records, that were established that season, stand the tests of time and remain the program’s standards to this day.