Announcements and Important Events
Grand Rapids Christian Athletics is announcing the retirement, at the tender age of 80, of beloved coach, teacher and athletic director, Ken Bokhoven. Ken spent his entire professional career with Grand Rapids Christian Schools, beginning at Central Christian, then East Christian, and finally at Grand Rapids Christian HS when the two schools merged. He taught science before serving as the GRCH Athletic Director for 18 years. Ken attended high school in Iowa, where he participated in baseball and basketball all four years. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and earned his Masters Degree at the University of North Carolina. Ken’s coaching career has spanned an incredible 58 years. He has coached at least one sport in each calendar year with a total of 89 seasons in various sports. He has coached football, basketball, golf, and track and field. The majority of his coaching has been in boys golf and track and field.
Ken has served as the boys golf coach for 37 seasons. His teams have a remarkable record in dual matches of 199 wins and 71 losses. His teams have won 9 Conference championships, 7 Regional Championships, and his 2013 team won the Division 2 State Championship. Several of Ken’s players have gone on to have outstanding careers in college. Almost without exception his team members continue to enjoy the game today, using the skills they learned under his tutelage. Ken also coached the girls golf team for two seasons.
Ken has been the coach for both boys and girls track and field teams for a total of 43 seasons. His 16 seasons of coaching the boys teams resulted in two Regional Championships. The girls track and field teams coached by Ken had an incredible stretch of 27 seasons of success that included a dual meet record of 156 wins and 6 losses, with 13 consecutive years in the City League with a record of 6 wins and 0 losses each season. Ken’s 27 teams won 22 Conference Dual Meet Championships, 20 Conference Meet Championships, and 9 Regional Championships. His 1980 girls track and field team won the State Class B Championship, while the teams of 1986 and 1987 finished second at State. The teams of 2001, 2002 and 2007 won the MITCA (Michigan Track Coaches Association) State Championship. Individually, more than 20 athletes from Ken’s girls track and field teams have earned All-State honors.
As a result of his outstanding success, Ken was inducted last year into the GR Christian Athletic Hall of Fame. Ken was also selected by his coaching peers for several awards. In 1992 he was selected by the MI High School Coaches Track and Field Association as its Coach of the Year. He was selected for the same honor by the National Track and Field Association (Region 4) and was a finalist for the National Coach of the Year. He was the MITCA Charles Sweeney Award winner in 1997 and was inducted into the MITCA Hall of Fame in 2005. Ken served two years on the National High School Federation of Track and Field on the rules committee. In boys golf, his fellow coaches selected him as the District and Regional Coach of the Year several times and the State Coach of the Year in 1982 and 2013.
Ken and his wife Wanda are the parents of three children: Cheryl, who passed away suddenly in 2004, Vaughn and Laura. They have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Ken’s favorite GRCH memory is coaching his three children in track and his grandson Jake in golf. Looking back on his coaching career and his relationships with colleagues and team members, Ken says, “I have been blessed.” And GRCH has certainly been blessed to have had Ken as a teacher, administrator, and coach.
Ken’s Favorite Scripture: Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.